Higher pay drives house price rise

Semi-detached houses are increasing across the UK

Halifax said house prices are being supported by underlying strength in the jobs market, with employment rising by 137,000 in the three months before May.

Halifax also pointed to a "robust" labour market, notably the recent increases in people in full-time employment.

He said: "Despite the recent modest improvement in mortgage approvals, the latest survey data for new buyer enquiries and agreed sales suggest".

On a monthly basis, prices rose by 1.4% in July, while in the latest quarter (May-July) prices were 1.3% higher than in the preceding three months (February-April 2018).

He noted that most other indicators of house price growth remain weak and said it was unlikely that the jump in the Halifax measure in July marks a turning point for the market. Many usual voices will be quick to highlight a "lacklustre property landscape", but the highest increase in prices since November speaks for itself and is still palatable, if not absolutely ideal for both camps.

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House prices rose at their fastest rate since November last month as rising wages helped to alleviate the pressure on household budgets.

The increase pushed house price inflation back above wage growth, which is now at about 2.5% a year, and comes just days after the Bank of England raised interest rates.

Brian Murphy, Head of Lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: 'Despite the rise in Bank Rate announced last week by the Bank of England, many lenders haven't changed their rates as they had priced in for the increase previously, which is good news for buyers and those remortgaging alike.

Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of Emoov.co.uk, commented: "While these house price reports cover the whole of the United Kingdom and provide us with an average which, of course, can hide regional idiosyncrasies, the current trajectory of the United Kingdom property market is one that favours homeowners both existing and aspiring". It is nearly as if the north/south divide is working in reverse with more activity outside rather than inside the capital. Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said: "We remain doubtful the United Kingdom housing market is stepping up a gear".

"The modest momentum could also be given a short-term boost by last week's increase in interest rates, which, rather than cooling the market, may spur previously hesitant buyers into action during the typically busy "back to school" season next month".

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