UK house prices show biggest drop since 2008: Halifax

A "help to buy" sign is pictured next to new houses in Aylesbury, Britain August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - British house prices slid last month by the most since the global financial crisis as the slowdown in the housing market intensified, mortgage lender Halifax said on Wednesday.

House prices fell 2.3% month-on-month in November, the biggest drop since October 2008 and following a 0.4% decline in October.

Other gauges of house prices have also pointed to a slowdown underway, with household budgets squeezed by soaring inflation and rising borrowing costs.

In annual terms, house price growth slowed to 4.7% in November from 8.2% in October.

Halifax said the month-on-month drop "reflects the worst of the market volatility over recent months".

The September economic agenda of former prime minister Liz Truss - which triggered a collapse in British financial assets, amplified by the structure of the pension industry - had a chilling effect on the mortgage market.

"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," said Kim Kinnaird, director of Halifax mortgages.

A Reuters poll of economists and property market analysts last week forecast house prices would drop around 5% next year, having risen about 24% since early 2020, according to official data.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Sarah Young

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