Terrorist strikes accelerate housing slowdown

Lenders and brokers have taken last week&#39s drop in the Halifax house price index as sign of more sustainable increase in property value, rather than warning of a price collapse.

The 0.5% fall is the same size as that recorded by the Nationwide index two weeks ago.

It is the first fall that Halifax has recorded since December 2000, and shows a decrease in the number of mortgages approved during October. As such, it captures more of the fallout following the 11 September strikes than the previous month&#39s index, which showed house prices unchanged. The Halifax now puts the average price of a house at £93,616.

Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis says: “There are clear signs that house price growth is slowing down, but we think it is a slowdown rather than a crash.”