By Jason Theodorou

House prices rose by 0.6% in July to £167,425, according to the house price index from the UK's biggest mortgage lender, Halifax. The figures show a reversal from the fall seen in June.

The rate of annual house price inflation has fallen from 6.3% to 4.9%, with the average property now costing around £167,425. Halifax said that the pattern of price rises and falls this year were 'consistent with a slowing market'. This brings the annual rate of growth to 4.9%, down from 6.3% the previous month.

More properties are available for sale in recent months, with a boost provided by the abolition of Home Information Packs. Some economists have suggested that the number of buyers would be kept low by uncertainty surrounding the job market and imminent government spending cuts.

The Halifax has said that the average house price hit a peak at £169,000, but now stand no higher than they were in November 2009. The Halifax survey shows a trend that is similar to that indicated by competitor Nationwide.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: "The mixed pattern of monthly rises and falls over the first seven months of the year is consistent with a slowing market. It is also in line with our view that house prices will be broadly unchanged over 2010 as a whole".

"The increase in the number of properties for sale over the past few months, boosted by the recent abolition of HIPs, has relieved much of the pressure that was driving up prices in 2009. Low interest rates and a recovering economy, however, are underpinning demand and continue to support the market."


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