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House prices fall by the most in south-east England, says Halifax

Halifax, the High Street lender, said average house prices in the area, which includes the home counties, fell 3.9%. House prices in Wales, once the beneficiary of the pandemic "boom", also tumbled. Overall, however, Halifax said the UK's housing market was showing resilience, despite higher mortgage costs. It said average prices fell by 2.4% in the year to July, valuing a typical home at £285,044. That is slower than the 2.6% decline recorded in the year to June.  Despite the falls, prices remain much higher than before the Covid pandemic. Some regions saw sharper drops than others. The value of a home in south-east England dropped to £382,489 in July. Wales, which Halifax said had seen "some of the most rapid growth in house prices witnessed during the pandemic 'boom'", recorded one of the largest annual falls at 3.3% to £214,495.

Greater London also saw prices drop by 3.5% in July, but the average price is much higher at £531,141 compared to other regions.  Average house prices fell in almost all parts of the UK in July apart from in the West Midlands, where they remained unchanged. The north east of England remains the cheapest place to buy a home with the average price being £167,594. Commenting on the housing market in the UK, Kim Kinnaird, director at Halifax Mortgages, which is owned by Lloyds Banking Group, said it "continues to display a degree of resilience in the face of tough economic headwinds". "In particular, we're seeing activity among first-time buyers hold up relatively well, with indications some are now searching for smaller homes, to offset higher borrowing costs," she added.

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