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UK house-price growth cools to weakest in three years

Friday, October 7, 2016 - 16:06
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UK house-price growth cooled further in September, reflecting a weakening of demand after a surge in values stretched affordability, according to Halifax.

[LONDON] UK house-price growth cooled further in September, reflecting a weakening of demand after a surge in values stretched affordability, according to Halifax.

The mortgage lender said housing has been on a "steady downward trend" and there's clear evidence of a softening in activity. It's monthly report showed annual house-price inflation - based on a three-month measure - cooled to 5.8 per cent, down from 6.9 per cent in August and as high as 10 percent in March. That's the slowest pace since August 2013.

On the month, values increased 0.1 per cent to an average 214,024 pounds (S$377,293). While consumer confidence has nearly shrugged off the impact of the June Brexit vote, the housing market has painted a more mixed picture. The Bank of England said that mortgage approvals fell to the lowest in almost two years in August, while Prime Minister Theresa May said more government intervention would be needed to repair a "dysfunctional" housing market that fails working people.

"A lengthy period where house prices have risen more rapidly than earnings has put pressure on affordability, therefore constraining demand," said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. He added that a shortage of property supply should help support price levels.

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