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Halifax identifies long-term cooling of house market

House price inflation is slowing, according to Halifax, which recorded a rise of just 1.4 per cent in September.

This was an increase on the 0.5 per cent fall in prices in August. However, Halifax says the increase in the last three months was just 2.7 per cent, less than half the 6.1 per cent gain in the second quarter, which it says is evidence of a slowdown in price inflation.

Halifax says the North/South divide is narrowing rapidly, with the average price in the South now 1.68 times the equivalent in the North.

This is the lowest differential for six years and far below the peak of 2.19 times in the second quarter of 2002.

But London and the South-east still led the bounce back in house prices in September, accounting for four-fifths of the 1.4 per cent rise in prices nationally.

The average house cost £162,911 in September, up from £160,584 in August and £135,882 a year ago.

Chief economist Martin Ellis says: “Most parts of the UK have experienced a slowdown in the pace of house price growth during the past three months.

“Significantly, while prices continue to rise more rapidly in the North, there are now signs that house price inflation in this part of the country is also slowing following a period of very rapid growth as first-time buyers increasingly face similar difficulties to those in the South buying a home.”


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