View more on these topics

House prices down 2.5% in March

Halifax has revealed a 2.5% drop in house prices last month in its latest house price index.

This is the biggest monthly decline since September 1992. While the lender says house prices were 1% lower in Q1 2008 than in Q4 2007, it maintains that they remain 1.1% higher than in March 2007.

Halifax says that despite an overall drop in prices, many areas continue to experience increases in house prices with Greater London, East Anglia and the East Midlands all seeing rises of nearly 1.5% or more.

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, says: “House prices fell by 2.5% in March. Prices in Q1 2008 were 1% lower than in Q4 2007.

“Overall, we expect there to be a modest fall in UK house prices this year. But any declines should be viewed in the context of the significant price rises over recent years. The average UK price has risen by £120,860 during the past decade from £70,696 to £191,556 – an increase of 171%.”

He adds: “Sound economic fundamentals are supporting house prices. A strong labour market, low interest rates and a shortage of new houses underpin housing valuations. Our research shows that the labour market is the key driver of the housing market.

“Employment is at a record high and unemployment continues to fall.”

Halifax’s index also suggests that a significant increase in the deposit being put down shows buyers are in a stronger position than in the past.

The index says 82% of buyers put down more than 10% on their home in Q4 2007 compared to only 56% in 1989 and 1990.

Recommended

Brokers see light in the darkness

Last Monday’s news that Lehman Brothers had suspended lending was another sign of how rapidly the UK mortgage market is contracting.

Halifax to launch FTB range on Monday

Halifax will launch on Monday a dedicated range of products for first-time buyers, quashing rumours that it was set to mirror First Direct and suspend lending. Products on the first-time buyer range will include a five-year fixed rate deal at 5.69% at 90% LTV.Although the UK’s biggest lender has also revealed that it will now […]

Payment shock clients get advice

The 1.4 million borrowers likely to face higher mortgage costs this year as a result of payment shock will be offered advice by the Money Advice Trust and the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Supported by the House of Commons, MAT has been working with the CML to publish advice for clients expected to be affected […]

Guide cover resized

Guide: Johnson Fleming’s managed auto-enrolment service for SMEs

Johnson Fleming has launched its new managed auto-enrolment service, designed to support SME businesses of up to 250 employees. The managed auto-enrolment service is not just about providing businesses with a software system for them to manage themselves, but more about outsourcing the administration of the project and scheme to Johnson Fleming’s auto-enrolment staff.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up