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Prices of London homes plunge as UK housing market remains fragile

By Charlotte Ricca

House-price growth across Britain falls to lowest since 2013

London house prices have fallen at their fastest rate since the height of the 2009 financial crisis, according to one of the UK’s biggest mortgage lenders.

The value of homes in the capital fell by 1.7% year on year in the third quarter, the sharpest drop in a decade. However, London remains the most expensive place to buy in the UK, with houses costing on average more than £480,000.

The figures have been collated by IHS Markit, which produces the Halifax house price index.

The quarterly report also revealed that UK house prices slumped to their lowest level of growth since 2013, increasing by just 1.1% in the past year. The average house price was £232,574 in September, down 0.4% from August and the first monthly fall since May.

IHS Markit economics director Paul Smith said: “The UK housing market remained fragile during the third quarter of the year and is on course to record its worst performance since 2012.

“Despite the low mortgage rate environment and rising earnings growth helping to ease affordability constraints, UK-wide house price inflation sank to a six-and-a-half year low.

“Given the close relationship with wider macroeconomic trends in recent years, we suspect that political and economic uncertainty associated with Brexit continues to weigh on the market.”

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