House prices in November fell at their sharpest monthly rate since the housing market crash of the early 1990s, the country’s biggest mortgage lender Halifax said on Thursday.
House prices fell 2.6% last month, the biggest decline since September 1992, when the housing market was still in deep decline as Britain was just emerging from a year-long recession. That took the three-month annual rate of decline to 14.9% in November, a new low since records began in 1983, Halifax said.
The figures boosted expectations for the Bank of England to deliver another bold cut in interest rates when its monthly meeting concludes at noon, after last month’s shock 1.5 percentage point reduction to 3%.
Most analysts reckon the central bank will slash borrowing costs by one percentage point on Thursday after a raft of dismal data this week suggested the economy has taken a sharp turn for the worse. “The very sharp fall in house prices reported by the Halifax adds extra late pressure on the Bank of England to deliver a very large interest rate cut today,” said Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight.
The Halifax data showed the average price of a home fell to £163,605, in November, a level not seen since July 2005 and a 18% fall from their peak in August 2007. Last month, Halifax said house prices fell 2.2% on the month in October for an annual three-month decline of 13.7%. (Reuters)