House prices have dipped for the first time in five months after the stamp duty holiday came to an end. The price of a typical home was £260,358 in June, down by 0.5 per cent compared to May, says Halifax. Although that figure was still 8.8 per cent, or £21,000. higher than a year ago, experts said it was an early sign that the market is starting to lose steam and that 'peak buyer demand' may now have passed.
It was the first drop in prices since January and came ahead of the tapering of the stamp duty holiday from July 1st. Estate agents had predicted that price growth may stall as that deadline approached, although many remain bullish about the rest of the summer.
The boom in prices over the past year has been fuelled by the duty holiday - which exempted homes worth £500,000 or less from tax - as well as demand from families seeking bigger homes with gardens after months of lockdowns.
Russell Galley, Halifax's managing director, said that many buyers would still pay minimal tax with the stamp duty threshold set to be £250,000 until October 1st when it will return to the normal level of £125,000. But he added: 'We would still expect annual growth to have slowed somewhat more by the end of the year, with unemployment expected to edge higher as job support measures unwind, and the peak of buyer demand now likely to have passed.'