GB: Halifax HPI

August 5, 2016 02:30 CDT

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
M/M % change -0.2% -1.0% 1.3% 1.2%
Yr/Yr % change- 3 mo moving av 8.8% 8.4% 8.4%

According to the latest survey by the Halifax, UK house prices fell 1.0 percent on the month in July. The decline, which was steeper than expected, followed a marginally smaller revised 1.2 percent rise in June and was the most pronounced since February.

However, in the three months to July, a better guide to the underlying trend, the HPI was up 1.5 percent on the quarter after a 1.1 percent increase in June. This left annual growth unchanged at 8.4 percent, matching its lowest reading since July 2015.

July's fall suggests that Brexit has started to have some impact on house prices. However, the picture is muddied by the Nationwide survey released last week which, in complete contrast, found prices up a monthly 0.5 percent. Tight supply and record low mortgage rates continue to provide important fundamental support but whether or not this will be enough to stop Brexit worries from driving prices down medium-term is unclear. For now, the jury is out.

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.In March 2016 Markit announced that it would be acquiring the Halifax HPI from Lloyds Banking Group. Halifax will continue to publish the index on behalf of Markit and both the name and methodology will remain unchanged.

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.