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House prices increase slightly for May

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Latest figures from Halifax have revealed that house prices showed a slight increase last month but are expected to stay the same for the rest of the year.

House prices continue to change on a month-on-month basis with latest figures showing people are still buying properties despite them increasing in price.

Prices rose by 0.5% month-on-month during May, followed by a 2.3% monthly fall in April to reach an average asking price of £160,941.

The figures also revealed that prices in the three months leading to May were 0.8% higher than the previous quarter and compared to last year prices were 0.1% lower in the three months leading to May.

The results of the Home Price Index also showed there was a fall in sales for the month of April by 18% which is due to the amount of people rushing to buy their property in March before the stamp duty holiday ended.

Experts have revealed that there has been increased caution when people have been considering the purchase of a property due to the situation of the eurozone and how it could affect the economy.

Martin Ellis, Halifax Housing Economist, commented on the latest figures:“Whilst there has been a modest improvement in the trend for house prices recently, the current average UK price is very similar to the levels both a year ago and at the beginning of this year.

“We expect this situation to continue with prices likely to still be around today's levels at the end of 2012 as the ongoing tough economic environment constrains housing demand.

“Recent monthly house sales figures have clearly been affected by the ending of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers in late March. Overall, the trend for sales - like that for prices – appears to be one of broad stability.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge