According to Halifax’s latest House Price Index, house prices in the second quarter of 2013 (April-June) were 2.1% higher than in the first quarter of the year (January-March).
As a result, house price growth between the latest three months and the preceding three months edged above the 1-2% range that it had been in throughout the preceding five months. This was the biggest increase on this measure since January 2010 (2.9%).
Prices in the three months to June were 3.7% higher than in the same three months a year earlier. This was the biggest increase in this annual measure since August 2010 (4.6%). House prices increased by 0.6% in June. This was the fifth consecutive monthly rise.
Activity is also picking up, as the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – increased by 7% between April and May to 58,200; the highest monthly level since December 2009. Approvals in the three months to May were 2% higher than in the previous three months.
Home sales in May were the highest in any month since March 2012 when there was a rush to beat the end of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers on properties priced below £250,000. However, supply conditions remain tight. The stock of unsold properties remains relatively low and was 5% lower on an annual basis in May 2013, according to the latest figures.
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