It was late, but worth the wait; the Halifax house price index fell 2 percent in June. Since the peak of last summer, nominal house prices are down around 9.6 percent. Year-on-year, prices are down 6 percent. Prices are now down to their August 2006 level, wiping out almost two years of bubble appreciation.
There is no easy way to spin these numbers, but Martin Ellis, Halifax chief economist gave it a go:
"House prices have declined by 6.1% over the past year. Nonetheless, the average UK price remains slightly higher than two years' ago and is appreciably stronger than three or four years ago. House prices fell by 2.0% in June compared to 2.5% in May, a slight moderation in the recent rate of decline.
A strong labour market, low interest rates and a shortage of new houses underpin housing valuations. Our research shows that the labour market is the key driver of the housing market. Employment is at a record high."
I particularly liked the "slight moderation in the recent rate of decline". The comments about the strong labour market, low interest rates and shortage of new housing underpinning housing valuations was also quite funny. The poor man is desperately clinging onto the housing bubble, but it is time to let go. It is over Martin, the mother of all housing crashes is now upon us.