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Property market is cooling down as prices start to fall

The housing market is con-tinuing to cool, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Nat-ionwide and Halifax, with house prices falling across the UK.

The CML says gross mortgage lending by banks and building societies fell by 6 per cent to £10.7bn in July from £11.4bn in June.

The CML says the slowdown in lending confirms other evidence that the market is cooling but predicts the housing market is in for a “soft landing”, with no repeat of the slump in house prices of a decade ago.

Figures from Halifax show house price inflation fell for the fourth successive month to 7.4 per cent from 8 per cent in July, with the UK average house price falling by 0.5 per cent to £84,811.

Nationwide&#39s figures for August show that the aver-age UK house price fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.6 per cent to £80,737 from £81,133 in July.

Halifax says that, although activity has been curtailed, the economic cli- mate remains good, with unemployment continuing to fall, contributing to a healthy market outlook.

Nationwide divisional director David Parry says: “This latest data confirms our view that some of the price rises over the last 12 months in many of the UK hotspots were not sustainable. This has helped to produce a pause in house price growth.”

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