The latest index from the Halifax shows that prices in the three months to November were 0.8 per cent higher than in the previous quarter - but the underlying trend is that growth is slowing now and will slow further in 2017.
Halifax says the small price change in the three months to November echoes similarly small movements in months immediately before. The annual rate of growth is now running at 6.0 per cent - slightly higher than before, but not changing the overall picture according to Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis.
“Despite November’s pick-up, the annual rate has been on a steady downward trend in recent months since reaching a peak of 10.0 per cent in March” he says.
“Heightened affordability pressures, resulting from a sustained period of house price growth in excess of earnings rises, appear to have dampened housing demand, contributing to the slowdown in house price inflation” adds Ellis.
He says that very low mortgage rates and the ongoing acute shortage of homes for sale should help support price levels “although annual house price growth may slow over the coming months.”
The Halifax figures confirm very similar trends identified in Nationwide’s figures, and those from estate agencies and business consultancies that have been making 2017 forecasts.
“[It’s] a quieter seasonal market and softening prices as buyers and sellers pause before finding out more about their economic and political future hopefully in the early new year.
However, we have seen some interest from buyers keen to take advantage of record low interest rates and mortgage products which are already beginning to be withdrawn” says Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.