With the election vote tomorrow (8th June), the latest Halifax house price index provides the last snapshot into the UK housing market before the fate of the future political landscape is decided.
The latest numbers reflect the turbulent political and economic landscape seen in the last year with a slight drop in prices over the last quarter, although an increase on both a monthly and annual basis. The data suggests that the recent slow in house price growth could be reversing as the market prepares to kick back into life after the election.
Low supply of stock has been the driving factor behind prices falling as the market has not had the fuel it needs to maintain the previous level of inflated growth. So with many buyers and sellers sat on the election fence until the dust has settled on the vote, it is likely the market will pick up over the next month or two heading into Autumn once they resume with their property transaction.
Despite many predicting a second consecutive monthly drop in house price growth, the latest numbers by Halifax show that prices have, in fact, crept up ever so slightly during May, notwithstanding a marginal fall in the last quarter.
The unpredictability of recent house price trends demonstrates the turbulent landscape that both the UK property market, along with the wider economy, have had to traverse over the last year or so.
With the snap election looming imminently the recent cool in price growth seems to be subsiding and it is no coincidence that one of the overarching factors in the recent price growth slowdown has been a shortage of stock, more so than usual.
Tomorrow’s vote will be pivotal in shaping the future of the UK housing market, however, regardless of which way it goes it is likely that the sector will receive a kick start from the many home sellers, who until now, will have been putting their sale on hold until the election dust has settled.Russell Quirk