House prices fall for second consecutive month

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Latest figures from Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, show a drop in UK house prices for a second consecutive month.

According to the Halifax index, house prices fell by 0.5% in October, following on from a 0.6% decrease in September.

The figures bring the annual rate of house price inflation in October down to 8.9%, as compared with 10.7% in September.

During October, the rate of mortgage approvals also fell, declining by 6% on the September level and by 11% on the third-quarter of 2006.

The last time house prices decreased two months in a row was in April and May of 2005 and according to Halifax: “A mixed pattern of monthly rises and falls is a typical feature of a more subdued housing market”.

Some property experts have taken the view that low unemployment and a shortage of homes would fend off a house price slump.

However, while Halifax acknowledges that some areas of the economy remain strong, it conceded that prices could continue to fall.

The Bank of England’s decision not to cut the base rate in November will be another disappointment to house price optimists.


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