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House prices down 0.3% in February: Halifax

House prices down 0.3% in February: Halifax

House prices in the three months to February were up 2.6 per cent on the preceding three months, but fell by 0.3 per cent between January and February.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said annual price growth eased in February, from 8.5 per cent in January to 8.3 per cent, and is still below last July’s peak of 10.2 per cent.

“The firming in price growth shown by the recent pick-up in the three month-on-three month comparison and indications of a modest rise in activity are likely to be due to a boost to housing demand as a result of increases in real earnings and spending power, further recent falls in mortgage rates and stamp duty changes.

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He added that the supply of both new and secondhand homes available for sale remains low, which is another factor that is likely to be supporting house prices.

“Supply remains tight despite housebuilding in England increasing for the second consecutive year in 2014 and a recent rise in the number of properties coming on to the market.”

At the start of this week, Nationwide’s monthly house price index revealed that annual house price growth fell to 5.7 per cent in the 12 months to February, a fall from the 6.8 per cent recorded in January.

The average, not seasonally adjusted, house price stood at £187,964 last month, according to Nationwide.

emma.hughes@ft.com