Halifax reports 0.5% fall in September house prices

| October 6, 2011
a�?Halifax

The Halifax has today revealed UK house prices fell by 0.5% in September on a monthly basis and follows a 1.2% fall in August.

The latest fall takes the average cost of a UK home to A?161,132, the Halifax said.

On an annual basis, meanwhile, prices are 2.3% lower, said the lender, which is now part of the Lloyds Banking Group.

When comparing prices in the three months to the end of September with the previous quarter (which is a more reliable indicator), there was a rise of 0.1%.

Commenting on todaya�?s report, Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: a�?Greater uncertainty about economic and personal financial circumstances, together with pressure on householders’ finances from weak earnings growth, higher inflation and increases in taxes, are likely to be constraining housing demand.”

However, low interest rates are likely to continue to support the market, he added.

Today, the Bank of England announced it would keep interest rates on hold at the all-time low of 0.5% but said it would restart its quantitative easing scheme to boost the economy.

In comparison, last week the Nationwide said house prices rose by 0.1% in September, taking the average cost of a home to A?165,914.

In the meantime, earlier this week, housing intelligence group Hometrack said house prices dipped by 0.1% in September a�� the 15th consecutive monthly fall.

The housing market has suffered in recent years due to a lack of mortgage availability a�� particularly for first-time buyers.

The Halifax added it is predicting little change in house prices and activity for the remainder of the year and the market is expected to remain subdued.

However, mortgage approvals have improved slightly but are still way below levels seen prior to the financial crisis.

House sales continue to fall, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

HMRC said 78,000 homes worth at least A?40,000 or more were sold in August a�� 6,000 less than the previous month and 3,000 lower than in August 2010.

At the height of the housing boom in July 2007, 151,000 homes were sold.

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