HOUSE PRICES UNCHANGED IN SEPTEMBER, SAYS NATIONWIDE After interest rate pause and summer slowdown

The sharp decline in house prices took a pause for breath last month, according to a closely-watched report.

Nationwide said prices were unchanged in September compared to the previous month.

The lender had reported a 0.8% fall in August.

It meant that prices were still 5.3% lower than a year earlier, equalling the biggest annual drop since 2009.

Nationwide’s monthly index reflected the conclusion of the typical summer holiday slump in housing market activity and was the first reading of conditions since the Bank of England’s last interest rate decision.

The vote to maintain the rate at 5.25% last month marked the end of a hiking cycle over 14 consecutive meetings.

While the Bank could yet impose further rises to tackle any further inflationary pressures in the economy, lower market expectations for further rises have been reflected in fixed mortgage rates.

Moneyfacts reported last week that the average five-year fix on the market had fallen below 6% for the first time in almost three months.