House prices
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House prices have dipped month on month for the second time in a row as buyers take a “wait and see” approach.

Across the UK, property values fell by 1.4% in September, following a 0.2% slide in August, Halifax reported.

Annual house price growth also slowed, to 2.5%, following a 3.7% increase in August.

The average house price stood at £225,995 in September.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said that despite the slowdown, annual house price growth is still near the top end of its forecasts for 2018.

He said: “The annual rate of growth is near the top of our forecast range of 0% to 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.”

Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said some buyers who do not have to move now are taking a “wait and see” approach instead.

He added: “For those who are willing to get on with it, there are deals to be done, as long as sellers are prepared to be realistic on price.

“Mortgage lenders are keen to have a brisk autumn, resulting in some competitive fixed-rate products in particular.”

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY Item Club, pointed out that before the month-on-month house price falls in September and August, there had been three months of significant increases – 1.7% in May, 0.9% in June and 1.2% in July.

He said: “The downside for house prices should be limited by the shortage of houses for sale.

“High and currently rising employment is also supportive for the housing market while mortgage interest rates are still at historically low levels.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “There is still no clear direction with house price growth continuing to slow.”

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

“So 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.”

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

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