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House prices have fallen for four months in a row, index finds

House prices fell by 0.1% month-on-month in June following monthly declines in May, April and March, Halifax said.

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House prices have been falling for four months in a row, according to Halifax (PA)

House prices have been falling for four months in a row, according to Halifax (PA)

House prices have been falling for four months in a row, according to Halifax (PA)

House prices have been falling for four months in a row – marking the first time this has happened since 2010, according to an index.

Property values in June were 0.1% lower than in May, Halifax said.

The decline in June followed month-on-month price falls of 0.2% in May, 0.6% in April and 0.3% in March.

Despite four months of prices edging downwards, house prices were higher in June when compared with a year earlier, Halifax said.

Across the UK, property values in June were 2.5% higher than in the same month a year earlier.

The average house price in June was £237,616.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “Average house prices fell by 0.1% in June as the UK property market continued to emerge from lockdown.

“Though only a small decrease, it is notable as the first time since 2010 – when the housing market was struggling to gain traction following the shock of the global financial crisis – that prices have fallen for four months in a row.

We do expect greater downward pressure on prices in the medium term, the extent of which will depend on the success of Government support measures and the speed at which the economy can recoverRussell Galley, Halifax

“Activity levels bounced back strongly in June, which is typically the busiest month for mortgage activity in the UK.

“New mortgage inquiries were up by 100% compared to May, and with prospective buyers also revisiting purchases previously put on hold, transaction volumes rose sharply compared to previous months.

“However, whilst encouraging, it remains too early to say if this level of activity will be sustained.”

Mr Galley continued: “Of course, come the autumn, the macroeconomic landscape in the UK should be clearer and the scale of the impact of the pandemic on the labour market more apparent.

“We do expect greater downward pressure on prices in the medium term, the extent of which will depend on the success of Government support measures and the speed at which the economy can recover.”

Shares in housebuilding firms jumped this week amid speculation that the UK Government could be poised to raise the threshold at which buyers start paying stamp duty.

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “On the one hand, prices have fallen for the fourth consecutive month but new mortgage inquiries are surging as buyers and sellers emerge from lockdown.

“The direction of travel in coming months will depend on the degree of support offered by the Government and how quickly the economy can recover when furlough in particular is withdrawn.

“Another factor of course now is stamp duty and any other measure introduced by the Chancellor to increase activity.

“Certainly, we are starting to see supply increasing and greater realism in sales agreed so do not expect prices to rise sharply in the near term.”

PA