UK house prices rise 1.1% in April
House prices rose by 1.1% in April – the fifth month in a row that prices have increased, according to Halifax's latest house price index. But the lender warned that prices would not increase significantly in 2013.
The monthly increase takes the average price of a home in the UK to £166,094 - 2% higher than April 2012 and a 1.3% rise on the last quarter.
Martin Ellis, housing economist for Halifax, said "the relatively low level of mortgage payments in relation to income" was in part behind the April price rise.
Mortgage payments as a ratio of earnings have nearly halved from a high of 48% in 2007 to 28% in the first quarter of 2013 – making mortgages far more affordable for borrowers.
However, Ellis warned that, despite the fifth consecutive monthly rise in prices, "weak income growth and continuing below-trend economic growth" would restrict a significant increase in the housing market for the remainder of 2013.
Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said Halifax's figures are "appreciably higher than expected, but it should not be taken as a sign that house prices are about to strengthen markedly."
He added that prices are likely to achieve a "modest gain of a couple or a few per cent over 2013", but added that a "decisively upward move" is unlikely.
Last week, Nationwide said its house price index showed a drop of 0.1% in April, although that represented an annual rise of 0.9%.