UK House Prices Stagnility Continues

07 October 2011

UK house prices were 0.5% lower in September than August on average, leaving them now down 2.3% on an annual basis. However, the more-stable quarterly measure shows prices up 0.1% in Q3 compared to Q2. The Halifax index has now recorded 8 rises, 8 falls and one no change in the nine months it has released data for, this, says Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis, is indicative of a market that "where prices are lacking genuine direction".


Unsurprisingly the Halifax forecast that this tacid stability will continue for at least the rest of this year, as low interest rates act as a counterweight to the economic misery. Unsurprisingly because it is what they have been predicting since the upward spurt of 2009 came to an end early last year -- don't knock it they have been right so far.


Nationwide data is even more rosy. According to the Nationwide index house prices in September were only 0.3% lower than last year, having grown 0.1% on the month, while the quarterly measure was unchanged.


It's true one man's stagnation is another man's stability; Martin Ellis of the Halifax calls the current situation stability, while house market bulls call it stagnation. Whatever you want to call it, with lending tight, employment subdued, wage-growth a joke and austerity anything but, it doesn't look like the situation is going to change for the better anytime soon.

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