House prices slow for first time since July, says Halifax

Mae Love
December 7, 2017

Citing the lack of housing supply, Halifax struck a relatively upbeat tone on the outlook for the market.

HOUSE prices have risen by 2.4 per cent over the the last three months making it the fastest rate increase since January, according to Halifax.

"The imbalance between supply and demand continues to support house prices, which doesn't look like changing in the near future", Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax Community Bank, said. However, the lack of property - both in the United Kingdom and available for sale - will continue to prop up prices, regardless of other details. "Even if successful, the chancellor's measures to boost house building in the budget will take time to have a significant effect so are unlikely to markedly influence house prices in the near term at least", Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club consultancy, said.

Prices also crept up on a monthly basis, increasing from 0.3 per cent to 0.5 per cent, but the annual rate of growth slipped from 4.5 per cent to 3.9 per cent.

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

The slowdown in the pace of annual house price growth - the first fall since July - likely comes as more households turn towards the Christmas period.

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Supply has now fallen in 20 consecutive months to October, while new buyer enquiries weakened in both September and October, marking the seventh consecutive month this measure has fallen.

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

The figures come after the Government announced that it is scrapping stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000 to help get more people on the property ladder.

"But if homeowners further up the chain aren't selling, there won't be enough affordable properties coming onto the market".

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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