British house prices suffer record slump: Halifax

7th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

British house prices plunged in September by a record 3.6 percent, home-loans provider Halifax said on Thursday, unveiling the biggest monthly drop since the data was first compiled in 1983.

Halifax blamed the sharp price drop on an increasing number of properties on the market, and falling demand arising from the uncertain economic outlook.

"A shortage of properties for sale contributed to an imbalance between supply and demand and was a key factor driving up house prices last year," Halifax economist Martin Ellis said in a statement.

"An increase in the number of properties available for sale in recent months has reduced the imbalance."

He added: "At the same time, renewed uncertainty about the economy and jobs has caused consumer confidence to falter recently, dampening the demand for home purchase.

"Together, these factors have been exerting some downward pressure on prices in recent months."

Mortgage provider Halifax, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, added that the average home price stood at 162,096 pounds (184,821 euros, 258,083 dollars) in September.

Prices were meanwhile 2.6 percent higher in September, compared with 12 months earlier, according to Halifax.

© 2010 AFP

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