Good, bad, ugly? Nobody can agree on what the recent house price data means

 
Helen Cahill
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There's not much consistency amongst commentators at the moment (Source: Getty)

Halifax said this morning that house prices fell between June and July and that annual and quarterly rates of house price growth are slowing.

City A.M. has heard talk of buyers wanting 10 per cent off the price of properties because of the Brexit vote, and earlier this week, Knight Frank said prices for high-end houses in London have fallen.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the housing market after the Brexit vote

So it looks like the housing market has lost some of its buoyancy since Brexit - but not everyone is in agreement. Many estate agents are still adamant the market is strong (despite Foxtons reporting a 42 per cent fall in profits last week). So, how has everyone reacted to Halifax's latest update on house prices?

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, expects some "not-very-good news on the horizon".

Leaf said: "These numbers reflect activity in the build up to the referendum, information the Bank of England would be privy to in making yesterday’s decision to cut interest rates.

"It suggests that there may well be other not-very-good news on the horizon.

"The monthly fall is perhaps surprising after so many months of rising prices but on the ground we are seeing a determination between buyers and sellers to do business where they can albeit at lower price levels."

Read more: Mapped: First-time buyer house prices in every London borough

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General's mortgage club, said "these figures provide clear evidence that house price inflation has plateaued".

Duncombe added: "We cannot let any dampening in rising house prices lead to complacency or make us forget the fundamental problems which continue to plague the property market."

Ian Thomas, co-founder of property investment company Lendinvest commented that "Brexit has not changed the resilient foundations of the housing market".

"We simply aren’t building anywhere near enough to meet demand. This lack of supply, combined with cheaper financing as a result of yesterday’s base rate cut, will continue to support house prices," Thomas said.

You don't need to be a property connoisseur to know that the estate agents' analysis is: "it's fine, it's all fine, don't panic, it all means nothing if you think about it..."

Read more: Prime central London house prices have fallen year-on-year

Alex Gosling chief exec of online estate agent HouseSimple, said: "On the surface, prices falling in July suggests Brexit is biting and we might be about to see a material market correction.

"But it's impossible to rely on month-to-month figures at the moment, such has been the summer of uncertainty we've experienced."

Ben Madden, managing director of London estate agents Thorgills, added: "Although house prices are easing in the post-Brexit world, they're proving far stickier than many predicted.

"This week's quarter point cut in interest rates certainly won't send house prices skyrocketing but it will help to further stabilise them."

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