Tuesday, October 5, 1999 Published at 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Business: The Economy
UK house prices fall
UK house prices eased in September, according to a new report.
Property prices fell 0.1% in September, bringing the yearly rise to 8.8%, says the Halifax, the UK's biggest mortgage lender.
But Halifax described the easing as a "blip" and forecast that house prices would continue to rise for the rest of the year.
"What we are moving towards is a more sustainable growth rate, not at levels that would be of concern to people fearing a 1980s-style boom-bust cycle," Mr Martin Ellis, chief economist at the Halifax said.
"With relatively low interest rates, we are likely to see a modest rise in prices for the rest of the year," he added.
In May, June and July, house prices rose 2%. In the year to August, prices rose 9.4%, the fastest rate in ten years.
"In retrospect, it appears that the average 2% monthly house price rises over this period represented an essentially one-off adjustment in response to the sharp falls in interest rates last month," Halifax said.
The Bank of England meets this week to decide the future level of interest rates. Last month's 0.25% rise in UK interest rates to 5.25% was in part prompted by fears that the housing boom could lead to inflation.
While the Halifax figures may be welcomed by the Bank of England, it conflicts with last week's figures from the Nationwide Building Society.
The Nationwide Building Society said prices rose 1.3% in September, leaving them 11% higher year-on-year.
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