House price growth continues - Scotland
Herald Scotland: Jody Harrison, Reporter
HOUSE prices are continuing to grow at a "robust" rate despite a slight fall in the average value of property, a new report has revealed.
The latest house price index from the Halifax found that property values across the UK fell by 0.6 per cent between June and July, but are still up by 7.6 per cent compared to a year ago.
However, there are signs that the rate of growth is slowing as the dip took the average house price across the UK to £198,883, down from an annual rate of growth of 9.6 per cent in June.
The Halifax figures come after Office for National Statistics data showed that house prices in Scotland hit a record high in July.
The average price of a house in Scotland was said to be £168,000, the highest figure recorded for this time of year, while a 3.5 per cent rise in prices was recorded north of the border.
Stephen Noakes, managing director retail customer products at Halifax, said that despite the dip in July, "the underlying pace of house price growth remains robust".
He added: "Continuing economic recovery, earnings growth in excess of consumer price inflation and very low mortgage rates all underpin housing demand. Supply is highly restricted with the stock of homes available for sale falling further to new record lows.
"This combination of well-supported demand and tight supply is likely to ensure that house price growth remains relatively strong in the near-term."
Halifax pointed to recent Bank of England figures showing that the number of mortgage approvals made to home buyers increased by three per cent in June, indicating an upturn in housing market activity.