House prices in the UK fell by 2.3% in November, according to Halifax, the largest monthly drop on its index since the beginning of the financial crash in 2008.
The fall is the third in a row, and means the average house price last month was £285,579, down from £292,406 in October.
Meanwhile, the annual rate of house price growth slowed to 4.7%, down from 8.2% in October, the lender said. The rate of annual growth slowed in all areas of England, apart from the north-east, with a similar slowing trend in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Wales and the south-west, which were hotspots of house price inflation during the pandemic, experienced the biggest cooldown, which Halifax said suggested that “previous drivers of the market, such as the race for space and heightened demand for rural living, are now receding”.
Kim Kinnaird, the director at Halifax Mortgages, said the market may be going through a period of “normalisation” and house price changes next year would depend on factors such as the rising cost of living and how the economy performed.
She said: “While a market slowdown was expected given the known economic headwinds – and following such extensive house price inflation over the last few years (+19% since March 2020) – this month’s fall reflects the worst of the market volatility over recent months.
“Some potential home moves have been paused as homebuyers feel increased pressure on affordability and industry data continues to suggest that many buyers and sellers are taking stock while the market continues to stabilise.”
Mark Harris, the chief executive of the mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Annual house price growth continues to slow, as activity softens and the market gradually returns to something closer to what we were used to pre-pandemic.
“Mortgage rates continue to float gently downwards but the psychological 5% barrier has been broken for both two- and five-year fixes.
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“With the next inflation data due next week and the MPC [the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee] expected to announce another half-point increase in base rate, along with the usual festive slowdown, further softening is inevitable.”