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House price growth halves since March, Halifax

House price inflation has now almost halved since its peak in March, Halifax has claimed

The lender’s October House Price Index recorded yearly growth of 5.2% to £217,411, down from 5.8% in September and below the March annual high of 10%.

This is up 1.4% on September on a monthly basis and just 0.1% up quarter-on-quarter.

Annual growth was at 9.7% this time last year.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “House prices in the three months to October were largely unchanged compared with the previous quarter. The annual rate of growth continued on its recent downward trend, easing to 5.2%.

“Activity levels, like house price growth, have softened compared with a year ago. Home sales, however, appear to have stabilised in recent months following the distortions earlier in the year due to the changes to stamp duty in April.

“Annual house price growth has nearly halved from a peak of 10.0% in March this year, but remains robust at 5.2%.

“This expected slowdown appears to have been largely due to mounting affordability pressures which have increasingly constrained housing demand. Whilst house price growth may ease further in the coming months, very low mortgage rates and a shortage of properties available for sale should help support price levels.”

In comparison, Nationwide’s October House Price Index put average prices at £205,904, down from 5.3% to 4.6% on a yearly basis.

Ian Thomas, co-founder and director of buy-to-let platform LendInvest, said the Stamp Duty changes are now hitting the market, adding: “October has seen a flattening out of house price growth, with a real effect of the Stamp Duty changes feeding through to reduced market demand.

“This is something that we are seeing the industry call on the government to address in the upcoming Autumn Statement and Housing White Paper publication.

“Many are forecasting that the property market may see a slowdown as the uncertainty around Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union impacts on consumer confidence.”