GB: Halifax HPI

Thu Aug 06 02:00:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
M/M % change 0.4% -0.6% 1.7% 1,6%
Yr/Yr % change- 3 mo moving av 8.3% 7.9% 9.6%

In contrast to the increase found in the Nationwide survey, the Halifax's latest report shows a 0.6 percent monthly fall in house prices in July. The decline in the latter's index followed a smaller revised 1.6 percent rise in June and reduced annual HPI growth over the last three months from 9.6 percent to 7.9 percent, its slowest pace since December 2014.

July's monthly dip, which was the first fall since February and only the second since October 2014, was enough to lower the quarterly gain in prices to 2.4 percent. This was down from 3.3 percent in the three months to June but in line with the average rate over the first half of the year.

Despite July's unexpected setback, the underlying trend in house prices remains positive and looks likely to remain so over the balance of the year. Demand continues to find support in record low mortgage rates, high consumer confidence and rising real wages. At the same time, supply is still very tight in fact the stock of homes available to sell fell again and to record low in June.

Overall a soft landing for what had been a market rapidly approaching bubble conditions looks a realistic possibility. The BoE MPC should not be displeased.

Halifax House Price Index is the UK's longest running monthly house price measure with data covering the whole country going back to January 1983. The Index is based on the largest monthly sample of mortgage data, typically covering around 15,000 house purchases per month, and covers the whole calendar month.

Home values affect much in the economy - especially the housing and consumer sectors. Periods of rising home values encourage new construction while periods of soft home prices can damp housing starts. Changes in home values play key roles in consumer spending and in consumer financial health. During the first half of this decade sharply rising home prices boosted how much home equity households held. In turn, this increased consumers' ability to spend, based on wealth effects and from being able to draw upon expanding home equity lines of credit.