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House prices rise in October but are lower than last year

House prices rose 1.8% in October after a 3.6% fall in September, the Halifax house price index reveals.

But the lender says prices are still 2.3% lower than at the end of 2009, with the average price now £164,919.

In the three months to October prices were 1.2% lower than the pre-vious quarter.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, says that there is always monthly volatility but it is more acute when the volume of transac-tions is low.

He says: “The quarterly measures show a smoother trend and are a better measure of house prices. It is normal for there to be monthly vola-tility in a market treading water.”

Stephen Smith, director of housing and external affairs at Legal & General Network, says the industry should not place too much emphasis on monthly fluctuations.

He says: “We probably look at the indices too often and draw far-reaching conclusions from one month’s data. The rolling period forecasts are a more sound basis on which to make business decisions.”

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