House prices down 1% in July but too early to tell Brexit impact, says report


House prices fell by 1% in July - but it is too early to tell whether the vote to leave the EU has had an impact on the property market, a report has found.

The month-on-month dip is the first since a 0.8% fall in April, which coincided with a stamp duty hike for buy-to-let investors, the index from Halifax shows.

The average UK property value was £214,678 in July - a figure which is still 8.4% higher than a year ago and matches the annual increase seen in June.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said: "The annual rate of growth was unchanged at 8.4%, the lowest since July 2015.

"There are signs that house price growth is slowing, with a deceleration in both the annual and quarterly rates of increase in the past few months. Nonetheless, the current rates remain robust."

The monthly dip in prices largely offsets a 1.2% increase recorded in June.

Mr Ellis continued: "The month-on-month changes, however, can be erratic and falls often occur within an upward trend. Overall, it remains too early to determine if there has been any impact on the housing market as a result of June's EU referendum result."

On a quarterly basis, house prices in the three months to July were 1.6% higher than they were between February and April.

This was above June's 1.1% quarterly increase but around half the rate of a 3% quarterly increase recorded in February, when investors were rushing to snap up properties ahead of the stamp duty increase on April 1.

The quarterly measure of change tends to be a more reliable indicator of underlying trends than the monthly change, Halifax said. 

Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of, said the cut in the Bank of England base rate to 0.25% combined with the monthly dip in house prices could make it a good time for some buyers to "strike while the iron is hot". 

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: "On the ground we are seeing a determination between buyers and sellers to do business where they can, albeit at lower price levels.

"Looking forward we hope that the interest rate cut will not only be passed on to aspiring home-owners but will also encourage investors and developers to take longer-term decisions which will address the shortage of supply which refuses to go away."