"Warning signs ahead" as house prices climb

6 September 2013

House prices in the three months to August rose by 5.4% year-on-year, the highest annual rate since June 2010, according to the Halifax house price index - leading to concern among some property experts.

Prices during the three-month period were 2.1% above those it the previous quarter.

In the month of August, prices rose by 0.4%, the seventh consecutive monthly increase.

Martin Ellis, Halifax's housing economist, said: "Housing market activity is also on an upward trend with the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases - a leading indicator of completed house sales - 10% higher in the three months to July compared with the previous quarter after allowing for seasonal influences."

Some experts say rising house prices will not be cause of cheer across the board. "There are warning signs ahead, with rapidly rising house prices threatening to price the next wave of first-time buyers out of the market," said LSL Property Services, as it revealed its latest first-time buyer data.

LSL put the average purchase price for a first-time buyer at £146,726 in July, up 8% year-on-year.

"Deposits now represent a far greater proportion of the income of a first-time buyer, and are rising. The average deposit is now equal to 83.1% of annual income, up 5% on July last year - slowing the pace of the recovery in first-time buyer lending. This was a result of rising house prices, which have pushed average deposits skyward, despite banks' willingness to lend to those with a smaller deposit size," LSL commented.

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