UK House Prices Show Signs of Easing After Sixth Consecutive Monthly Fall
UK house prices have declined for a sixth consecutive month in September, according to Halifax. However, the slump in Britain’s property market is showing signs of easing, as the monthly fall reported by Halifax was much less than the previous month’s decline. The average price of a home decreased by 0.4% from August to £278,601 ($339,150), leaving values 4.7% lower than a year earlier.
Rival mortgage lender Nationwide Building Society’s survey, on the other hand, showed that house prices remained flat in September. Both lenders, however, agree that recent dips in mortgage rates provide reason to believe that the housing market is heading towards more stability.
Analysts predict that house prices will fall by about 10% from their peak in August last year, indicating that the property market may be halfway through the downturn.
“With Base Rate now likely to be at or around its peak, we are seeing fixed rate mortgage deals ease back from recent highs,” said Kim Kinnaird, Halifax mortgages director. “Wage growth also remains strong, which has helped with affordability, with the house price to income ratio now at its lowest level since June 2020.”
Despite the recent decline, house prices are still significantly higher than they were before the pandemic. While prices fell by around £1,200 from the previous month and are £14,000 below the peak in August 2022, they remain £39,400 higher than pre-pandemic levels and £2,700 above their level when the Bank of England’s base rate began to rise in December 2021.
The signs that the housing downturn is easing will be beneficial for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the lead-up to a general election expected to take place late next year.
All UK nations and the nine English regions have recorded sliding prices, with the largest falls observed in the South of England, where the average property has slipped by 5.7% over the past year. Northern Ireland currently has the most resilient house prices.
London’s residential property prices have seen a decrease of 4.8% over the past year, making it the most expensive place in the UK to buy a home, with the average price standing at £525,678.
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