UK House Prices Continue To Fall In September

UK house prices fell for the sixth straight month in September as higher interest rates weighed on mortgage affordability, survey data from the Lloyds Bank subsidiary Halifax and S&P Global showed Friday.

House prices slid 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in September. This was the sixth straight month of decline but markedly slower than the 1.8 percent fall in August. Prices were forecast to decrease 0.8 percent.

A typical UK home costs GBP 278,601, a similar level was last seen in early 2022.

On a yearly basis, house prices declined 4.7 percent in September after easing 4.5 percent in August.

Halifax Mortgages Director Kim Kinnaird said homeowners have become more realistic about their selling price, reflecting what has increasingly become a buyer’s market.

With Base Rate likely to be around its peak, fixed rate mortgage deals are likely to ease back from recent highs.

“Many economists and financial markets predict that Base Rate will remain higher for longer, with any significant cuts appearing unlikely until inflation gets closer to the Bank of England’s 2% target,” Kinnaird added.

“Overall, these factors are likely to keep mortgage rates elevated in comparison to recent years, constraining buyer demand and putting downward pressure on house prices into next year,” said Kinnaird.

Further, Halifax said house prices proved more resilient than expected over that period, despite higher mortgage rates suppressing market activity. However, mortgage lender noted that there is often a lag-effect between rate increases and the full impact of higher mortgage costs on house prices.

The Bank of England kept its interest rate unchanged after 14 back-to-back rate hikes in September.

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