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House prices 'to moderate in 2014'

House prices during the remainder of 2014 are expected to moderate after inflation peaked at around ten per cent.Halifax's latest house price index reveals house prices in the three months to September were 2.7 per cent higher than in the preceding three months. This was down from 2.9 per cent in the previous month and 3.5 per cent in July.On an annual basis, the figure was 9.6 per cent higher in the three months to September than in the same three months last year - similar to the figure for August (9.7 per cent) and lower than July's 10.2 per cent. Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "The recent rapid rise in house prices in some parts of the UK, earnings growth that remains below consumer price inflation and the possibility of an interest rate rise over the coming months, appear to have tempered housing demand. "This weakening in demand has led to a modest easing in both house price growth and sales."Home sales have eased in recent months, falling below 100,000 in August for the first time since November 2013, to 99,930. In the three months to August, they were 1.5 per cent lower than in the preceding three months (March to May).There has also been a fall in mortgage approvals for house purchases, the bank revealed. This is the second consecutive month such a decline has occurred and it means they are 16 per cent below the recent peak recorded in January 2014.Another decline in buyer enquiries added to evidence of a balancing between supply and demand, while a recent survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors revealed evidence of looser market conditions.The latest data from the Halifax appears to support other market assessments that have been made in recent weeks, with Hometrack reporting zero price growth in September. 

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