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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

'Annual house price growth at six-year low' - Halifax

The latest figures from Halifax show annual house price growth has dipped to a six-year low. Average property price growth in September dropped to 1.1% - the lowest level recorded since April 2013.

On a monthly basis, prices dropped by 0.4%, while quarterly growth was recorded at 0.4%.

Halifax calculates the average UK house price at £232,574 last month.

Halifax managing director, Russell Galley, says the annual growth remains in keeping with the 'predominantly flat' trend of recent months.

"Underlying market indicators, including completed sales and mortgages approvals, continue to be broadly stable. Meanwhile for buyers, important affordability measures – such as wage growth and interest rates – still look favourable."

Galley says Halifax expects activity levels and price growth to remain subdued while the current period of economic uncertainty persists.

A number of property market insiders have reacted to the figures, including Lucy Pendleton, founder director of James Pendleton estate agents.

"The housing market's game of musical statues continues," she says.

"The only problem is that a rowdy bunch of competitive parents have been jostling for control of the off button for months and the music never actually stops."

"This index has gone from gazelle to sloth in only a matter of months, although some tinkering with the methodology has now removed the astoundingly high year on year figures we saw in the first half of the year from the index," says Pendleton.

Marc von Grundherr, director at 17-branch London agency Benham & Reeves, adds: "The various indexes of late have not only contradicted each other but often contradict themselves month on month - in fact, the numbers have bounced around like a beach-ball on a bungee rope since the beginning of the year."

"The upshot is that whilst the monthly rate of increase in house prices across the UK is negative, the fact that the year on year numbers are still positive, quite honestly defies the gravity that the current political fracas should otherwise be dictating."

He says the agency industry lives in hope of a post-Brexit bounce.

According to Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, lenders are having to work 'incredibly hard' to stand out due to low transaction numbers.

"Those lenders who can’t compete on price are having to tweak criteria and be more flexible than perhaps they might have been in the past."

"This is excellent news for borrowers and once buyers return to the market, when the uncertainty is removed from the equation, there are some extremely competitive products for them to take advantage of," says Harris.

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