Whoa! Slow down! UK property prices plummet... about an inch... so far


According to the latest figures from The Halifax published on 6th December, UK residential property prices in the three months to November were 0.6% lower than in the preceding quarter. There has been an even split of monthly price rises and falls this year, with five of each, and one month of no change.

The end result? A drop of 1%. This represents the smallest annual fall since... last year, when prices fell by 0.7%.

Not the most exciting news. However, that is a good thing. "Overall, house prices have remained remarkably stable in 2011 despite the difficult and deteriorating economic climate and the substantial pressure on households' finances. The UK average price now is only marginally lower than at the end of 2010," said Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax.

Although, The Halifax's figures do not paint the full picture. London and the south-east saw steady growth this year, whereas the north-east has seen a large drop in house prices, and this can also be seen in Leeds investment properties too.

So what's the forecast for 2012? Doom and/or gloom. With the Eurozone in perpetual crises and our own economy coughing and spluttering like a dying Land Rover that sadly cannot be fixed by a new coat of paint, the waters are set to get rough and choppy. Whether this is leading up to a Niagara-sized housing market barrel-ride remains to be seen.

Paul Holmes, an expert on UK property, said that people need to expect an average 1% fall per month will take place over the next 36 months, with property set to reduce in value by approximately a third by the start of 2015.

"My best advice to people if they own something now, is to pay down their mortgages as fast as they can, and maybe even downsize."

Interestingly, of the 14 people to have been over Niagara Falls, 5, approximately a third, lost their lives.

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