Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, comments on the ONS/Land Registry House Price Index, May 2016:
“UK average house prices increased by 8.1% in the year to May 2016, according to the latest House Price Index from the ONS and Land Registry, revealing continually strong growth in the housing market in the pre-Brexit climate.
“So much has changed since then, but the data does show the robust demand for properties in the run up to the referendum. In May, prices were rising in all four countries in the United Kingdom, and this is driven by the inadequate supply of new and affordable homes.
“As Theresa May begins her term in office with new Housing Minister Gavin Barwell, there is an opportunity for a new approach to tackling the housing shortage. Housebuilders need confidence in order to get on with what they are good at – building homes – and further planning reform is one way to achieve this, something which must stay on the agenda despite Brexit.
“Although transaction activity could slow or fall over the next few months as the impact of uncertainty around Brexit is reflected in the number of deals going through, conveyancers have an opportunity to take a deep look at their business and how they can increase productivity. Doing this now may pay dividends later in the year.”