House prices fall in October: the market is either braking or breaking

House prices are up 7.2% in the year to October – down from 9.5% in September. Prices fell 0.9% in a month – the first monthly fall since July last year and the biggest since June 2020. Nationwide puts the average house price at £268,282.

Nationwide has released its house price index for October: Sharp slowdown in annual house price growth in October (

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown said: “House prices fell in October, as the impact of September’s mini-budget tore through the mortgage market, trampling buyer confidence, and laying waste to their borrowing plans. The question is whether we’re seeing the market brake, or start to break.

“Even before the mini-budget, a property slowdown was on the cards, as interest rates continued to climb, household bills mounted, and property prices rose even further out of reach. They were all bound to put the brakes on runaway house prices eventually. There’s the chance that this is what we’re seeing right now. Nationwide says there’s still some hope for a soft landing, with a strong labour market, a shortage of properties and a significant chunk of borrowers on fixed rates – all of which offer some protection on the downside.

“However, the steep rise in mortgage rates after the mini-budget makes that hope slightly more distant. They may have fallen back slightly as calm returned to the market, but they’re unlikely to drop significantly at a time when the Bank of England is still expected to bring in a series of new rate rises. The shock of rate rises may also linger and take a toll on buyer confidence. Anyone considering stretching their finances for a new home will think twice now they have seen just how far and how fast things can move.

“Given the backdrop of a stuttering economy, there’s the risk that the confidence and optimism that is the engine of house price rises could be more seriously broken.”