House prices rose by 1% in September according to the latest figures from the Halifax, taking the annual rate of house price inflation to 8% - its lowest rate since April.
The latest data from Halifax closely matches that released by Nationwide Building Socity last week.
The average house price is now £181,186 and the Halifax suggests there are signs housing activity has reached a plateau.
The number of loans approved for house purchase stabilised at around 120,000 a month in the three months to August, according to the Bank of England, while the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported completed property sales eased marginally in August for the second successive month.
The English regions have experienced remarkably similar house price gains in the last 12 months with all regions experiencing rises of between 5.5% and 8.5%; the narrowest range recorded since the Halifax House Price Index began in 1983.
Prices have risen most strongly in Northern Ireland (30%) and Scotland (14.5%) over the past year. All other regions have recorded single digit house price inflation, it says.
The lender adds the ratio between prices in the south and north increased marginally for the second successive quarter in 2006 indicating that the north/south divide is beginning to widen again following four years of almost continuous narrowing.
But it says sound fundamentals and a stronger economy as well as record high levels of employment, will continue to support a healthy housing market over the coming months.
That said Halifax expects higher mortgage rates and utility bills to put pressure on household finances, curbing housing demand and leading annual house price inflation to moderate over the remainder of the year.
Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax says: "We expect increased utility bills and higher interest rates to curb housing demand over the coming months, causing annual house price inflation to ease between now and the end of the year."
The Bank of England is expected to hold interest rates at their current level for the second consecutive month tomorrow. Most expect a rate rise next month.
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