New data shows that 2018 has so far had the lowest recorded number of homes for sale than any year in the last decade, marking this out as a seller's market in many parts of the UK.
In its monthly house price index, Halifax also revealed that the last five years have seen the lowest average number of mortgage approvals, although there was a slight increase in mortgage approvals in August.
Mortgage approvals staying flat
Using Bank of England seasonally adjusted figures, Halifax noted that the monthly average for mortgage approvals from April 2013 to July 2018 was 66,550, almost half the approval rate for the term from August 2002 to July 2007 when it stood at 110,550.
Halifax reported that house prices across the UK rose by 2.5 percent on the year but were down 1.4 percent on the month, selling at an average £225,995. This is the second month on the spin that prices have fallen by 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the number of completed UK home sales rose between July and August to 99,120, although the number of homes on the market is still much lower than in previous years.
Steadying in house price inflation
Using figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' monthly report on the stock of houses for sale, Halifax noted that the average number of homes for sale is still below the lowest rate seen in the five years to June 2015.
Russell Galley, Halifax managing director, said: "With the annual rate of house price growth easing to 2.5 percent in September from 3.7 percent in August and the quarterly rate of growth remaining at 1.8 percent for the second month, we are seeing a steadying in house price inflation across these more stable measures.
"This is set amongst mortgage approvals and completed house sales remaining broadly unchanged, although a gradual pickup in wage growth has helped to support household finances.
"The annual rate of growth is near the top of our forecast range of 0-3% for 2018, as a low supply of new homes and existing properties for sale, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, continue to support house prices."
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