House prices fall for fourth month in a row, according to Halifax price index

by: Mary-Anne Bowring/The Negotiator

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House prices have fallen for the fourth straight month in a row – but new mortgage inquiries are surging, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

The figures for the second quarter of 2020 showed the average asking price was £237,616, representing a fall of 0.1% on May and a quarterly change of -0.9%. However prices were up 2.5% in June compared with the same period in 2019.

Activity levels bounced back strongly in June, typically the busiest month for mortgage activity in the UK, with new mortgage inquiries up by 100% compared with May. With prospective buyers also revisiting purchases previously put on hold, transaction volumes rose sharply compared with previous months. Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley and creator of automated lettings platform, PlanetRent commented: “Today’s figures show potential green shoots of recovery, with rising mortgage inquiries, although it is clear lockdown and prolonged uncertainty are still having their effect, “With no clear route out the pandemic yet, the for-sale market is likely to be subdued as buyers and sellers act cautiously and put off major financial decisions.

“This is why government policies aimed at restimulating the housing market need to look beyond first-time buyers and existing owner-occupiers and tap into new sources of demand like buy-to-let landlords by scrapping the stamp duty surcharge they face.”


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