The October House Price Index from the Halifax bank shows prices were largely unchanged over the last three months, following on from the September Nationwide Index showing the market was flat in October.
The first couple of weeks of every month are filled with results from the various house prices indices, often showing different aspects of the market dependent on their methodology for dealing with the stats. However, this month most of the leading authorities in the market agree that the market is experiencing a slowdown.
Values in the last month rose 1.4%, but even so, prices in the last three months (August-October) were only 0.1% higher than in the preceding quarter (seasonally adjusted).
Speaking to OPP Today, Halifax housing economist, Martin Ellis, says, “House prices in the three months to October were largely unchanged compared with the previous quarter. The annual rate of growth continued on its recent downward trend, easing to 5.2%.”
“Activity levels, like house price growth, have softened compared with a year ago. Home sales, however, appear to have stabilised in recent months following the distortions earlier in the year due to the changes to stamp duty in April.”
“Annual house price growth has nearly halved from a peak of 10% in March this year, but remains robust at 5.2%. This expected slowdown appears to have been largely due to mounting affordability pressures, which have increasingly constrained housing demand. Whilst house price growth may ease further in the coming months, very low mortgage rates and a shortage of properties available for sale should help support price levels.”
Meanwhile, leading London agency Black Brick says the London property market under £1million is likely to remain active despite Brexit uncertainty, but the new-build sector is vulnerable due to flooded supply.
Managing Director, Camilla Dell, says “we remain very cautious on the new-build segment, which we think is still the most vulnerable part of the market. Some parts of London are flooded with supply and we’re likely to see properties offered with substantial discounts.
“Of course, there is a near-term wildcard, in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement, due on 23 November. Budgets under George Osborne delivered raid after raid on the property market and we don’t know what – if anything – Philip Hammond has up his sleeve.”