Refurbishment Loans News:- House prices have rallied with a 3.2 per cent increase for the three months to March  compared with the same period in 2018, reveals the Halifax House Price Index.

The first quarter of this year was 1.6 per cent higher than the final quarter of last year but on a monthly basis prices fell by 1.6 per cent in March compared with February. The average house price in the UK is now £233,181.

Halifax’s managing director Roger Galley said the 1.6 per cent reduction in March was a correction of February’s significant growth.

“This again demonstrates the risk in focusing too heavily on short-term, volatile measures. Industry-wide figures show that the number of mortgages being approved remains around 40 per cent below pre-financial crisis levels, and we know that lower levels of activity can lead to bigger price movements.”

Hard Brexit would hit prices

Ernst & Young’s economic forecasting group the ITEM Club said it had trimmed its prediction for house price growth in 2019 to just one per cent. It warned that if the UK left the EU without a deal prices in the second quarter could fall by as much as five per cent.

ITEM Club chief economic advisor, Howard Archer said: “The overall impression is that the housing market is currently soft as it is being hampered by challenging conditions with buyer caution currently being reinforced by heightened Brexit and economic uncertainties.  Although there are significant variations across regions with the overall picture being dragged down by the weakness in London and the South East.”

Positive market factors

However, low unemployment, earnings growth and a shortage of housing are regarded as offering some support for prices.

Development and refurbishment loans brokers, Hank Zarihs Associates said subdued house price growth had not been reflected in a reduction in new residential home projects.

Chief executive, Shiraz Khan said: “The UK house building market has remained resilient despite current economic uncertainty. We are seeing no slow down in the developers coming to us seeking to source bridging and construction finance.”

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