House prices continue to tread water in August, says Halifax

 
Ben Southwood
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HOUSE PRICES looked like they were beginning to slip in August, as they dropped slightly compared both to July and August last year, Halifax’s house price index revealed yesterday.

Prices were down 0.4 per cent on the month, 0.3 per cent on the quarter, and 0.9 per cent on the year, the index showed, putting the UK’s average house price at £160,256.

“Nationally, house prices continue to tread water, as measured by the underlying trend,” said Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis.

This fall in prices, following two months of similar small falls, means that prices are roughly where they were at the start of the year.

“Despite the odd rise or fall here and there, depending on where you are in the country, house prices have been predominantly flat over the past quarter with little change,” said Gabby Adler at SPF Private Clients.

She put flat activity down to weak consumer confidence, driven by worries about the Eurozone debt crisis and the struggling UK economy.

Nevertheless, she suggested there might be some uptick by the end of the year. “There may be an uplift in September and October as people attempt to move in time for Christmas, and some families will be moving in order to take advantage of school catchment areas,” Adler said, “But this is likely to be a short-lived boost unless the wider economic issues are addressed.”

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