Halifax reports ‘house prices slide but market stable’

House prices fell by 0.9% in November but the market remains stable, The Halifax said in its latest house price index.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “House prices in the three months to November were 0.6% lower than in the previous three months. Prices fell by 0.9% between October and November. This followed October’s 1.2% gain, therefore continuing the very mixed monthly pattern seen this year.

“Overall, house prices have remained remarkably stable in 2011 despite the difficult and deteriorating economic climate and the substantial pressure on households’ finances. The UK average price now is only marginally lower than at the end of 2010. In addition, activity has recently shown a few signs of strengthening a little.

“We expect the market to remain broadly unchanged in terms of both prices and sales over the coming few months as demand and supply conditions alter little.”

The average price of a home in the UK is now £161,731, down from £164,299 last November.

There were signs of a modest pick-up in housing activity. The Halifax, quoting Bank of England figures, said the number of mortgages approved to buy homes nationwide – a leading indicator of completed house sales – increased by 3% in October and was 13% higher than in October 2010.

The seasonally adjusted total of 52,700 in October was both the highest this year and the highest since December 2009.

Richard Gordon of UKPIS commented: “These latest figures confirm that house prices are holding their own despite difficult economic circumstances. I feel that once the uncertainty surrounding the Euro is behind us, people will have the confidence to invest and we could see further growth in the early part of 2012.”

Source: The Halifax

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