UK house price growth slowed in June

The rise in UK house prices slowed ahead of the EU referendum, according to a new report from the Halifax.

The country?s largest mortgage lender said on Thursday that prices continued to rise but annual house price growth eased to 8.4% in June, the lowest rate in a year.

Quarterly figures also point to house prices cooling off.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: ?There is evidence that the underlying pace of house growth may be easing. House prices in the three months to June were 1.2% higher than in the previous quarter; down from 1.5% in May. The annual rate of growth fell from 9.2% in May to 8.4%; the lowest since July 2015.

?House prices continue to increase, albeit at a slower rate, but this precedes the EU referendum result, therefore it is far too early to determine any impact since.?

The Halifax House Price Index measured the whole month of June, so it includes just six days after the referendum result was announced on 24 June.

Commenting on the report, Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said there was likely to be a major impact on house prices over the next few months as a result of the referendum decision.

?Despite the Halifax reporting a marked rise in house prices in June itself, we believe that the prospects for the housing market have deteriorated markedly following the Brexit vote,? Archer said.

?Housing market activity and prices now look to be at very serious risk of an extended, marked downturn following the UK?s vote to leave the EU.?

Archer went on to note that price falls would be restricted by the lack of supply in the market, but predicted that prices could drop 5% in the second half of 2016, with the possibility of a further 5-7% fall in 2017.

The Halifax report also noted the impact on the housing market from recent changes to stamp duty.

It said: ?The introduction of higher stamp duty tax rates for buy to let and a second home in April has had a substantial impact on house sales in recent months. A rush to complete sales ahead of the tax change caused a sharp rise in March, which was followed by a substantial decline in April. UK home sales stabilised in May.?