Britain's housing boom is still going strong as house prices continued to rise last month, the latest survey by Halifax reveals.
According to the lender's findings, property prices increased by 2.2% in May, crushing any prediction of a near market collapse.
The national average house price now stands at £157,849 - almost £3,500 more than what someone would have had to pay for a property in April.
Strong housing demand and the lack of properties coming onto the market are both pacing the upward trend, the survey says.
Martin Ellis, Halifax chief economist, says the latest rise confirms the "ongoing strength of the housing market".
"The market has remained very strong in northern England and Wales so far this year and house price inflation in the south has picked-up following a significant slowdown during 2003. We expect the north and Wales to continue to outperform the rest of the country over the remainder of the year, resulting in a further narrowing in the north/south divide," he says.
Despite its own findings, Halifax still forecasts the market will slow down in the next couple of months.
"Higher interest rates and the increasing difficulties that face aspiring first-time buyers should, however, exert downward pressure on house price inflation later in the year and into 2005, including in the north where there has been rapid house price growth in recent years," Ellis says.IFAonline
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