Little sign of ‘back to work bounce’ as house prices fall for second consecutive month

House prices fell for the second month in a row, Halifax data shows.

The September Halifax House Price Index shows that average prices fell by 1.4% to £225,995 on a monthly basis.

This followed a 0.2% monthly decline recorded in August.

Annual growth also slowed from 3.7% in August to 2.5% in September, the index shows.

This is still higher than Nationwide’s rival index which puts annual price growth at 2% for September.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “We are seeing a steadying in house price inflation across these more stable measures.

“This is set amongst mortgage approvals and completed house sales remaining broadly unchanged, although a gradual pick-up in wage growth has helped to support household finances.

“The annual rate of growth is near the top of our forecast range of 0-3% for 2018, as a low supply of new homes and existing properties for sale, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, continue to support house prices.”

Commenting on the index, Lucy Pendleton, founder director of independent estate agents James Pendleton, said: “September is a month that normally sees a burst of activity as people return from holiday and go back to work.

“A fall of this scale is quite a retreat at a time when increased competition among those racing to move by Christmas would normally give the market a bit of buoyancy.

“The concern is that legions of Brits didn’t get back from holiday and head straight out again to the estate agent like they normally do. The back to work bounce is nowhere to be seen.”

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