UK Housing Boom Cools as Prices fall in June Halifax


LONDON Reuters Britains housing market boom showed some signs of cooling in June as prices fell in monthly terms for the first time since January ahead of the scaling back of a tax break for buyers, mortgage lender Halifax said on Wednesday.

Prices were 0.5 lower than in May, Halifax said. In annual terms, they stood 8.8 higher than in June 2020 after leaping by the most in 14 years in May when they rose 9.6.

It is important to put such a moderate decrease in context, with average prices still more than 21,000 pounds 29,000higher than this time last year, following a broadly unprecedented period of gains, Halifax managing director Russell Galley said.

Last week, rival lender Nationwide said its measure of house prices showed a 13.4 leap between June 2020 and June 2021, the biggest increase in over 16 years.

Britains housing market has been spurred on by finance minister Rishi Sunaks COVID19 emergency tax break for buyers many of whom were already seeking bigger properties as they increasingly work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The tax exemption on the first 500,000 pounds of any property purchase in England or Northern Ireland expired at the end of June. A 250,000 pound taxfree allowance will run until the end of September.

Galley said demand from people looking for bigger homes would not fade entirely as the economy recovers and the shortage of properties on the market would also support prices.

However, we would still expect annual growth…

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