Economy

House prices slow for first time since July, says Halifax

House prices slow for first time since July, says Halifax

The average price of a property in Britain is now £226,821, compared to £219,741 in January 2017.

House prices in the year to November rose 3.9 per cent, down from 4.5 per cent in October, Halifax said.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said: "While the annual rate of growth eased in November, with the first decline in this measure since July, when looking at quarterly change prices in the three months to November, they were marginally higher than in the preceding three months and the fourth consecutive quarterly increase".

As the issue of supply is unlikely to be addressed in any meaningful way the lack of stock to meet housing demand should keep prices buoyant, aided by the recent changes to first-time buyer stamp duty, although this will bring a marginal influence much further down the line than widely expected.

House prices rose 0.5 percent month-on-month after a 0.3 percent rise in October, Halifax said, topping the consensus in a Reuters poll of economists for a 0.2 percent rise.

HMRC data showed property transactions totalled 105,260 in October - the highest level since March 2016.

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Last week, Nationwide said that annual house price growth was 2.5 per cent over the past year.

That outlook comes despite a slowdown in mortgage approvals in October and the likelihood of further BOE and mortgage interest rate rises in 2018.

And Zoopla has revealed homeowners were selling their homes at nearly 4 per cent less than the asking price in September.

Although he added that he did expect the first-time buyer stamp duty cut to provide some stimulus to demand particularly in London and the South East.

Alex Gosling, chief executive of online estate agents HouseSimple.com, said market activity had dropped off earlier than normal this year. "And the government's plan to build more affordable homes isn't going to solve the supply crisis today".

The latest barometer of United Kingdom residential real estate prices suggests end of the year lethargy is creeping into the market.


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