UK house prices pick up in early 2019, but outlook subdued: Halifax

A house door is seen in London
A house door is seen in London, Britain January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

April 5, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British house prices rose slightly more quickly in the first three months of 2019 in annual terms but growth is likely remain subdued, given Brexit uncertainty and high property prices, mortgage lender Halifax said on Friday.

Compared with the same period of last year, prices rose by 3.2 percent, faster than a rise of 2.8 percent in the three months to February.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to an annual rise of 2.3 percent for the first quarter.

Last week, data from rival mortgage lender Nationwide also showed house prices picked up a bit of speed.

But Britain’s housing market remains weak, especially in London, as Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to find a way to leave the European Union with a transition deal to cushion the shock to the economy.

Shortly before the Brexit referendum in 2016, house prices were rising by about 10 percent a year, according to Halifax.

The lender said that prices in March, in monthly terms, fell by 1.6 percent after jumping by 6.0 percent in February.

Halifax’s index has tended to be more volatile than other measures of house prices of late.

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by David Goodman and Angus MacSwan)

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