Wednesday, March 3 2004

The latest house price survey from the Halifax has confirmed that house prices in the UK continue to rise, despite worries that interest rate rises would affect the growth.

House prices increased by 1.6% in February, the Halifax found, bringing annual house price inflation to 17.8%. However, the rate of growth has slowed somewhat from the Halifax figure in January, which was 2.3%.

The research also shows that, just two weeks or so from the Budget, the Government’s failure to increase tax thresholds in line with house price growth means that there has been a significant increase in the number of properties potentially subject to inheritance tax.

General Manager of Group Economics at Halifax Shane O’Riordain, said: ‘House prices continued to rise in February with a 1.6% rise during the month. The ongoing strength of the housing market is underpinned by the favourable combination of a strong labour market, historically low interest rates and low mortgage payments in relation to earnings.’