House prices down 1.5% in February

| March 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

UK house prices fell by 1.5% in February when compared to January, according to Halifax.

The lender’s monthly index registered its first decline since June 2009, following seven consecutive monthly increases.

However, at £166,587, the average price of a UK home came in 8% above the market trough of April 2009, and up 4.5% on an annual basis.

In a three-month-on-three-month comparison, February’s underlying rate of annual house price inflation advanced 1.8% on the preceding quarter, compared with a 3.2% increase on the same basis in January.

Halifax observes: “An increase in the number of properties available for sale has helped to reduce slightly the imbalance between supply and demand.”

Adding: “At the same time, the bad weather in the first two months of 2010, together with the return of the lowest stamp duty threshold to £125,000, are likely to have had an adverse impact on housing demand.”

Halifax chief economist, Martin Ellis, comments: “The combination of these factors appears to have helped to curb the upward pressure on house prices.”

Last week, Nationwide reported a 1% drop in the average value of a home in February, compared to a month earlier.

The fall ended nine consecutive monthly rises and the building society reserved judgment on whether it represented a blip or the beginning of a new trend.

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