Annual house price rise highest for 13 months

04 May 2006
The Halifax's House Price Index for April indicates that the average property in Britain now costs £178,992.

Property prices rose by two per cent on March figures, meaning that the annual rate of house price inflation is now eight per cent – the highest for 13 months.

The creators of the index expect house price increases to wane in the second half of 2006, on the back of steady housing market activity.

A strengthening economy, low unemployment and low interest rates are to be counterbalanced by a weakening labour market and rising energy and council tax bills this year, according to the Halifax experts.

Martin Ellis, chief economist at the building society, clarified: "Whilst the market may remain relatively buoyant over the coming months, we expect the recent softening in the labour market and the continuing high level of house prices in relation to earnings to curb demand.

"Alongside higher utility and council tax bills, these factors should lead house price growth to moderate in the second half of 2006."

Of the 392 towns surveyed, 134 had properties averaging under £100,000 in value in 2003; only three towns averaged below £100,000 last month.

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