Tags: UK | House | Prices | Fall

UK House Prices Post Record Monthly Fall in Sept.

Thursday, 07 Oct 2010 12:04 PM

British house prices plunged a record 3.6 percent on the month in September, mortgage lender Halifax said on Thursday, in a further sign the housing market is rapidly losing steam after a pick-up last year.

Analysts were cautious about reading too much into one month's data but noted that recent mortgage approvals data had also pointed to a weakening market and that fragile economic conditions meant the outlook was bleak.

Halifax said September's fall was the biggest since records began in 1983 and left house prices up 2.6 percent in the three months compared with a year ago, the weakest rate December.

In August, Halifax said house prices rose 0.4 percent on the month, for a three-month annual rate of 4.6 percent.

Analysts said September's surprisingly weak reading could just be a blip, especially as rival mortgage lender Nationwide reported last week that house prices rose 0.1 percent last month.

"While the September house price drop highly likely overstates the weakness of the housing market, there seems little doubt that the housing market is now in reverse," said Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight.

"Rather than crash, we expect house prices to trend down relatively gradually over the final months of 2010 and in 2011 to lose around 10 percent in value."

Halifax economist Martin Ellis said it was too early to tell whether September's decline marked the start of a steep downward trend in prices.

He said the quarterly figures provided a better picture of the underlying trend, showing house prices were 0.9 percent down in the three months to September compared with the second quarter of this year.

"This rate of decline is significantly slower than the quarterly changes of between 5 and 6 percent that were seen in the second half of 2008," Ellis said.

"It is therefore far too early to conclude that September's monthly fall is the beginning of a sustained period of declining house prices."

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British house prices plunged a record 3.6 percent on the month in September, mortgage lender Halifax said on Thursday, in a further sign the housing market is rapidly losing steam after a pick-up last year. Analysts were cautious about reading too much into one month's...
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2010-04-07
Thursday, 07 Oct 2010 12:04 PM
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