The average house price plunged -2.3% to £285,579 last month, the biggest monthly drop since October 2008.
Halifax’s November house price index reports that the rate of annual growth slowed further to +4.7% (from +8.2%) in October, as the market was battered by strong economic headwinds and extensive house price inflation.
The slowing market is reflected across the UK, with the Northeast of England being the only exception, where the rate of annual growth edged up slightly to +10.5%. Wales (+7.9%) and the Southwest (+8.4%) saw the sharpest slowdown of annual growth, from +11.5% and +10.7% respectively.
Fine & Country MD Nicky Stevenson says there’s an expectation that the Bank of England will continue to nudge its base rate higher as it seeks to tame inflation, and a consensus that mortgage rates of between 5% and 6% may become the norm. “Against this backdrop, we expect momentum in the housing market to remain subdued as we approach the New Year,” she adds.
Not panicking Most estate agents and mortgage brokers are not panicking however, and don’t expect prices to drop by more than 10-15% next year as inflation starts to come under control.
Matthew Jackson, director of Mint FS, believes the natural lull in November and December will be replaced with renewed activity and a semblance of calm from lenders in terms of pricing.
“We’re already starting to see that now that the shock of the mini-Budget has started to dissipate. This will see buyers and sellers return to the market, albeit not in the volumes of previous years but enough to drive growth in the market and keep prices fairly static.”
Chris Goodwin, partner at Hortons Estate Agents, strikes a note of realism. “Prices are coming down, but your home is still worth much more than it was three years ago, before the pandemic,” says Goodwin. “There is still a phenomenal lack of supply and that will support prices.”
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