Posted on 5 February 2008 by
House prices remained static in January, with the average UK property now costing £197,244, according to figures published today by Halifax.
In its January House Price Index, the bank says that although prices remained unchanged, there were "continuing signs of weakness" in housing market activity. It cites Bank of England figures revealing that the number of mortgage approvals fell by 35% in the last three months of 2007, compared with the same period in 2006.
According to the index, property prices in January were 4.5% higher than in January 2007, but they had fallen by 1.0% over the three months from November 2007.
Halifax predicts that house prices will remain flat this year, and believes that the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is likely to reduce interest rates when it announces its next decision on Thursday.
"We expect sound economic fundamentals and lower interest rates to support house prices," said chief economist Martin Ellis.
"The MPC is likely to cut the Bank Rate at least twice in 2008, further supporting both the economy and housing demand," he added.