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Low stock and declining transactions but prices holding

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Mon 10 Oct 2016

Low stock and declining transactions but prices holding

House prices fell a negligible 0.1 per cent in the three months to September as compared to the previous quarter, but rose a similarly tiny amount in recent weeks.

The data released by the Halifax shows a 0.1 per cent increase in property values between August and September, following two months of house prices falling. Year on year growth hit 5.8 per cent.

"The market has followed a steady downward trend over the past six months with evidence of both a softening in activity levels and an easing in house price inflation" according to Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. He says demand has been held back by low earnings increases since house price growth hit a high of 10 per cent in March.

The figures have been welcomed by Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.

“They show that prices held up better than expected bearing in mind they reflect the period immediately following the referendum, albeit they are based on very low stock and declining transactions. However, since the beginning of September we have seen an increase in activity although buyers are still relatively slow to commit until they are sure they have achieved what they think are the best possible terms” he says.

“Despite the uncertainty and concern surrounding the referendum, the market seems to have quickly absorbed the ramifications of the decision to leave the EU. We were concerned Brexit would mean the market would stall with buyers and sellers racked with indecision but that doesn’t seem to have happened. It certainly helps that mortgage rates are so cheap” says Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients.