House prices fall again in weak market

 
Tim Wallace
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HOUSE prices fell in November, reversing October’s gain as the market remained unpredictably choppy, Halifax announced yesterday.

The bank’s monthly house price index showed a fall of 0.9 per cent in the month, taking the annual fall to one per cent and the quarterly decline to 0.6 per cent.

The fall compares with a 1.2 per cent monthly rise in October. Prices now stand at an average of £161,731, down from £164,269 last November.

Halifax economist Martin Ellis expects the market to stabilise in coming months.

“Overall house prices have remained remarkably stable in 2011 despite the difficult and deteriorating economic climate and the substantial pressure on households’ finances,” he said.

“In addition, activity has recently shown a few signs of strengthening a little. We expect the market to remain broadly unchanged in terms of both prices and sales.”

However, estate agent Marsh and Parsons believes the market is only being prevented from collapse by loose monetary policy.

“These figures point to a market that is far from healthy, said chief executive Peter Rollings. “It is only a shortage of stock and historically low mortgage rates that have prevented even greater price falls.”