House prices fall for FOURTH quarter in a row but here’s why homeowners shouldn't panic

It is the first time quarterly values have fallen for four successive months in a row since 2012, as measured by Halifax.

The price gauge measures rolling quarterly movements every month.

And while prices have been slowly dipping since March, values increased by 0.4 per cent between June and July – the highest monthly rise in 2017, according to the lender.

The average value is now £219,266, about 2.1 per cent higher than the same quarter last year.

The price rise is considerably lower compared to last year when annual values increased by 10 per cent in March. But experts said the market is cooling, rather than crashing. 

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: “There was a time when four falls in a row would have set alarm bells ringing. But so far all the indications are that the market is seeing a cooling rather than a correction.

“The speed of price growth has slowed substantially, and at a national level average prices are still flatlining rather than falling.

“But what growth there is is meandering and listless, with prices being propped up by record low levels of supply.”

Buyer affordability remains stretched despite low mortgage rates, and the summer months are also a typically quieter period.

However, prices keep rising amid a low levels of supply.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax Community Bank, said: “The rise in the employment level by 175,000 in the three months to May helped push the unemployment rate down to 4.5 per cent, the lowest since June 1975.

“However, this improvement in the jobs market has not, as yet, boosted wage growth, resulting in earnings rising at a slower rate than consumer prices.

“This squeeze on spending power, together with the impact on property transactions of the stamp duty changes in 2016 now being realised, along with affordability concerns, appear to have contributed to weaker housing demand.

“However, a continued low mortgage rate environment, combined with an ongoing shortage of properties for sale, should help continue to support house prices over the coming months.”

Founder of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, added: “Yet more promising signs for the UK housing market with further evidence of a marginal uplift in prices on a monthly basis.

“Although prices are still down on the previous quarter and price growth is likely to remain fairly subdued for the remainder of the year, they continue to be up on an annual basis and given the current seasonality an increase no matter how small is a good sign during the peak of the summer months.”

Daily Express :: Personal Finance Feed

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