Property Prices Are Slowly Picking Up, Says Halifax

Date Published 10 May 2013

House prices stood at an average of £166,094 in April, the Halifax has reported.

It says this represents a monthly increase of 1.1% and an annual rise of 2%.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, said: `House prices continue to pick up gradually.

`Prices in the three months to April were 1.3% higher than in the preceding three months, marking the fifth consecutive increase in house prices on this measure.

`The relatively low level of mortgage payments in relation to income continues to provide support for the market.

`Market activity, however, remains subdued by historical standards, with the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – easing slightly in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest industry-wide figures.

`Weak income growth and continuing below-trend economic growth are likely to remain significant constraints on housing demand during the remainder of 2013.`

The Halifax figure is roughly in line with the latest figures from Nationwide and the Land Registry’s monthly house price index, but is much lower than the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry’s paid-for All Transactions Data. The latter puts house prices for March at an average of £234,962 for England and Wales