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House price index offers “flicker of hope”

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  • 06/12/2012
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House price index offers “flicker of hope”
House prices have bucked the trend of an annual decline by rising 1% since October, Halifax’s latest house price index has suggested.

The average price of a house in November was £160,879, compared to £158,426 in October. However, the index indicated a marginal decline through 2012 as a whole, with an annual fall in house prices since last November of 1.3% and a quarterly fall of 0.7%.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said both demand and supply pressures in the market had altered little during the course of 2012: “This has been the key reason for the lack of anything other than modest changes in house sales and prices at a national level compared with a year ago.

“Challenging economic conditions have constrained housing demand whilst low interest rates have helped to support affordability and demand.”

He highlighted the growth in buy-to-let, the disparity between the north and south and predicted a slow rise in prices beyond 2013.

Property search consultant Garrington managing director Jonathan Hopper said: “After such prolonged stagnation, November’s small increase in average prices will give a flicker of hope to the battered housing market.

“But this month-on-month improvement is more silver lining than silver bullet.

“The market is still blanketed by some very dark clouds. The Halifax’s quarterly index has fallen for six successive quarters, and in many areas prices still have a long way to go to recover their 2011 levels.”

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