Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

House Prices Tumble Again as Buyers Face a Squeeze

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

House Prices Tumble Again as Buyers Face a Squeeze

Article excerpt

Byline: Russell Lynch

MORE signs of a deflating property market emerged today as prices fell for the second month in a row for the first time since the Brexit vote, according to lender Halifax.

Average prices fell 0.6% in January on the back of a 0.8% decline in December, the first time house prices have marked successive monthly declines since July and August 2016.

In annual terms house prices are 2.2% ahead of a year earlier, which is the weakest growth since last July.

The latest signs of weakness, which follow recent stronger signals from the Nationwide benchmark, come after the Bank of England's first rate rise in a decade in November.

Market speculation is mounting that policymakers could move again in May.

Although Halifax says that prices are being supported by a lack of homes for sale, potential buyers are facing a squeeze on real incomes, with inflation still higher than wage growth.

Chancellor Philip Hammond abolished stamp duty for first-time buyers on property up to PS300,000 in November's budget but Halifax's Russell Galley, said "it's still too early to see any impact" on house prices. …

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