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House prices edged down 0.6% in July – Halifax

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  • 06/08/2012
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House prices edged down 0.6% in July – Halifax
House prices fell by 0.6% in July following consecutive increases in May and June as prices continued to fluctuate on a monthly basis, found Halifax.

The house price index showed that the average UK house price in July was 0.8% higher than in December 2011, at £161,094.

Halifax said that prices in the three months to July were 0.6% lower than in the same period a year earlier. Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax said that nationally, house prices are at a very similar level to the summer of 2009.

“This can largely be explained by the static nature of supply and demand conditions during this period. Looking forward, we expect little change in prices over the remainder of 2012 so long as the economic climate in the UK does not worsen substantially.”

Peter Rollings, CEO of estate agent Marsh & Parsons added that if the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme is successful, it could revive the first-time buyer market.

“Securing an affordable mortgage without a colossal deposit is an Olympian task for the average buyer, and this is reining in competition for properties across the country, preventing sales prices from climbing back to anything like their pre-crunch heights.

“Recovery will be dependent on the ability of the Funding for Lending scheme to unlock the lower echelons of the housing market. At present, lenders are providing the low-risk equity-rich buyers with incredibly cheap rates. But if we are to see consistent price rises outside the boundary of the M25, cheaper finance must reach higher LTV borrowers, re-igniting buyer activity from the bottom-up.

“As things stand, it is only cash-rich areas like prime London that are able to defy the effects of historically weak mortgage lending.”

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