Country houses for sale

Prices fall in September

House prices fell overall in September says the Halifax, bringing the overall increase for the third quarter to 0.9%, down from 2.3% in the second quarter of the year.

Annually the rate fell to 10.7% for September from 11.4% in August, a trend the mortgage lender clearly expects to continue: ‘The annual rate should decline further over the next few months as the strong monthly house price gains during the autumn of 2006 drop out of the year-on-year comparisons,’ the report says.

The biggest rises for Halifax took place in Greater London (2.3%), and the South East (1.8%), although the study does point out that these rises are lower than in the previous few quarters. The slowest growth was recorded in the north and the Midlands, it said.

‘September’s price fall is consistent with the normal behaviour of the market during a slowdown,’ commented Martin Ellis, Chief Economist at Halifax. ‘A mixed pattern of monthly price rises and falls is a typical feature of a more subdued housing market.’

However, overall the outlook remains fair: ‘The UK economy is in a strong position, Sound market fundamentals, including high levels of employment and a shortage in the number of properties available for sale will continue to support house prices,’ the report predicts.

Click here for Nationwide’s report for the same month, which also found London outstripping the rest of the country.