U.K. House Price Growth Cools for a Fourth Month, Halifax Says

U.K. house-price growth eased last month as demand softened and a further cooling is likely into 2015, according to Halifax.

Values in the quarter through November rose an annual 8.2 percent, down from 8.8 percent in October and marking a fourth consecutive slowdown, the mortgage lender said today. Prices increased 0.4 percent on the month.

“Receding buyer interest combined with a revival in private housing completions has brought supply and demand into better balance,” Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said in a statement. While demand is supported by the strengthening economy, Halifax expects a “further moderation in house price growth over the next year,” he said.

Data from the Bank of England this week showed mortgage approvals fell to the lowest in more than a year in October as property demand cooled. Part of the slowdown is due to stretched affordability, and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne changed the tax on house purchases yesterday to help low- and middle-income families buy new homes.

Halifax welcomed the changes to the so-called stamp duty and said they “should encourage more movement in the housing market as transactional costs will be reduced for many.”

The Halifax report is the latest to show that Britain’s housing market has lost momentum. Nationwide Building Society said last week that annual house price growth slowed to 8.5 percent in November from 9 percent in October. That’s the smallest increase in 11 months.

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