How fast did house prices grow in the past 12 months?

The quick answer is: depends on who you ask?

Halifax released figures claiming a 5.2% average price increase for the 12 months to May of this year. This looks somewhat generous given that Nationwide put the figure at just 0.6%. The ONS put the figure at a slightly more optimistic 1.4%.

When questioned about the discrepancy the MD of Halifax, Russell Galley, claimed that their figure was flattered by weak growth in the previous period. And then resorted to covering all eventualities with the following statement: “Looking ahead, we expect the current trend of stability based on high employment and low-interest rates to persist over the coming months, though clearly any downturn in the wider economy would be keenly felt in the housing market”.