U.K. House Prices Unexpectedly Rise in May

U.K. Halifax May house prices surged 2.6% m/m, after a 1.7% m/m decline in April and following earlier data from Nationwide showing a 1.2% m/m increase in May. Meanwhile, prices declined 16.3% 3m y/y, a deceleration from -17.7% in April. Data hence suggest some stabilization to the housing market, though weak supply is likely impacting the headline reading, making price comparison difficult. We believe that it is all too early to start talking about a housing market recovery but we are likely to see alternative positive and negative monthly figures going forward as the pace of price decline slows. Sharply rising unemployment is likely to continue to place downward pressure on house prices.