GB: Halifax HPI

July 7, 2016 02:30 CDT

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
M/M % change 0.3% 1.3% 0.6% 0.9%
Yr/Yr % change- 3 mo moving av 7.7% 8.4% 9.2%

House prices were unexpectedly robust in June if the new Halifax survey is anything to go by. A 1.3 percent monthly increase in the lender's HPI was the largest since March, albeit not enough to prevent annual growth last quarter from sliding to 8.4 percent from 9.2 percent in the three months to May.

For the second quarter as a whole, prices were up a respectable 1.2 percent versus the January-March period but this was still down 0.3 percentage points from last time and the weakest gain since the fourth quarter of 2014.

Recent data have been distorted by the changes to Stamp Duty introduced at the start of April but seemed to be indicating a slightly slower pace of market activity in the run-up to the Brexit vote. Pre-Brexit fundamentals were strong but worries about the referendum outcome have seen a significant downgrade to house price forecasts over the coming year. That said, until the Brexit effects become clearer such projections can be little more than best guesses.

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.