House price surge ‘unlikely’ to continue

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House prices continued to beat expectations in August, Halifax has reported.

Its latest house price index put the month-on-month rate of increase at 1.6 per cent, and the annual rate at 5.2 per cent. The average price of a house now stands at      £246k, said the mortgage lender.

‘A surge in market activity has driven up house prices through the post-lockdown summer period’, said Halifax managing director Russell Galley.

‘Notwithstanding the various positive factors supporting the market in the short term, it remains highly unlikely that this level of price inflation will be sustained. The macroeconomic picture in the UK should become clearer over the next few months as various Government support measures come to an end, and the true scale of the impact of the pandemic on the labour market becomes apparent’.

Halifax expected ‘greater downward pressure on house prices in the medium term’, he added.

Meanwhile, six in ten chartered surveyors say they are ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the impact of Coronavirus on their businesses.

Over half (54 per cent) say it has already led to reduced workload and reduced cash flow (55 per cent). And four in ten said new business enquiries were down.

Even so, reported the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, its latest survey of members found that 76 per cent were highly confident (13 per cent) or at least ‘cautiously optimistic’ (63 per cent) about their longer term prospects for the next 12 to 24 months.

  • RICS is offering to help landlords and tenants comply with the Government’s call for landlords and tenants to act responsibly in negotiating ways forward by providing a third-party mediation service. It says it is inevitable that there will be disagreements that will need to be resolved, and the Government recognises that these may not be easily reconciled without some help.