UK house prices fall amid No Deal fears

UK house prices fall amid No Deal fears
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House prices increased at the weakest annual rate in more than six years in September, in line with a recent flat trend, according to an index.

Property values were 1.1% higher year-on-year - the slowest annual growth rate since April 2013, Halifax said.

On a monthly basis, house prices fell by 0.4% to reach an average value across the UK of £232,574.

Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax, said: "Annual house price growth slowed somewhat in September, rising by just 1.1% over the last year.

"Whilst this is lowest level of growth since April 2013, it remains in keeping with the predominantly flat trend we've seen in 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.

"Looking ahead, we expect activity levels and price growth to remain subdued while the current period of economic uncertainty persists."

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Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, said: "With the economy largely struggling and the outlook highly uncertain, we suspect that house prices will remain soft in the near term at least.

"Consequently, we expect house prices to only rise around 1.0% on most measures over 2019."

He continued: "If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31 - or at a later date - we believe house prices could quickly drop around 5% amid heightened uncertainty and weakened economic activity."

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: "Transaction numbers are low so lenders are having to work incredibly hard to generate business and stand out from the competition.

"This means even further cutting of fixed-rate mortgages, while 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."

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