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House prices fall at the fastest rate since 2008

A member of the public walks past residential properties displayed for sale in the window of an estate agents' in London on September 30, 2022 - ISABEL INFANTES/AFP
A member of the public walks past residential properties displayed for sale in the window of an estate agents' in London on September 30, 2022 - ISABEL INFANTES/AFP

House prices have fallen at the fastest rate since 2008, dropping by almost £7,000 in one month.

Property values fell for the third month in a row in November, falling by 2.3pc since October, according to lender Halifax.

The monthly drop in house prices was the biggest since October 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis. It was also the third-largest drop since Halifax records started in 1983.

The average home now costs £285,579, down from £292,406 in October. Annual house price growth has been in double figures for most of this year, peaking at 12.5pc in June, but slowed from 8.2pc in October to 4.7pc last month.

Higher borrowing costs and soaring inflation have pumped the brakes on the property boom.

Kim Kinnaird, of Halifax, said: “While a market slowdown was expected given the known economic headwinds…this month’s fall reflects the worst of the market volatility over recent months.

“Some potential home moves have been paused as homebuyers feel increased pressure on affordability, and industry data continues to suggest that many buyers and sellers are taking stock while the market continues to stabilise.”

House price growth slowed in all regions in November, with the exception of the North East of England, which was the only area still to record double-digit annual price inflation after it climbed marginally from 10.4pc to 10.5pc.

The property hotspots which recorded the highest price growth throughout the pandemic have suffered the sharpest slowdown. Annual growth in Wales fell from 11.5pc to 7.9pc between October and November, and dropped from 10.7pc to 8.4pc in the South West of England.

House price growth in Scotland slowed from 7.4pc to 6.5pc in the same period, while London continued to lag behind all other regions – annual growth in the capital fell from 6.6pc to 5.2pc and the average property in the city now costs £549,160.

Despite the recent slowdown, house prices in the UK are still far higher than before the pandemic-fuelled boom. The average property value is £46,403 higher than in March 2020.

But experts forecast that house price falls will accelerate into next year, with many expecting a 10pc drop by 2024.

Almost 70pc of estate agency branches had most sales agreed below their asking price in October, according to trade body Propertymark. This compared with a low of 15pc in March this year.

Nathan Emerson, of Propertymark, said: “Our agents tell us of a more realistic and affordable market as sale prices continue to fall.

“This however now means that expectations for owners as to the sale price may now not be achievable as demand from buyers starts to cool off from previous record high levels.”