House price growth steady in September

House price growth steady in September
Halifax’s latest house price index showed that the quarterly rate of growth held steady in September, although the month-on-month change revealed a drop.

Prices fell by 1.4% in September, the bank said, the second consecutive month that prices have dropped. The average price of a property in the UK is now £225,995.

Prices still rising on an annual basis

Despite the monthly drop, house prices rose by 2.5% in the year to September, Halifax said, supported by the number of people in work and competitive mortgage rates. House prices in the latest three months were 1.8% higher than in the preceding three months.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax said: “The annual rate of growth is near the top of our forecast range of 0-3% 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.”

According to separate data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the number of homes for sale in 2018 is lower than at any point in the past decade. Since June 2015, the average stock of houses for sale per surveyor has been less than 50,000.
Rival lender Nationwide said earlier in the week that property prices were up 2% over the year. It reported that prices rose by 0.3% in September, bringing the average property price in the UK to £214,922. The building society said it expects prices to rise by around 1% over the course of 2018.

Mixed regional picture

London prices fell for the fifth quarter in a row, according to Nationwide, although prices are still only around 3% below their all-time high recorded in the first three months of 2017.

The strongest performing region in England and the UK was Yorkshire and Humberside, with prices up 5.8% year on year. There was also strong growth in the East Midlands, which saw price growth pick up to 4.8%.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said “For the sixth successive quarter, price growth in Northern England exceeded that in Southern England. While the North saw price falls, other regions such as Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West saw price growth accelerate, meaning that overall prices in Northern England were up 4.1% year on year.”

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