House prices in the last three months to April were 2.2% higher than in the same three months in 2017, according to the Halifax House Price index, a decline from the 2.7% annual growth recorded in March.
The index also revealed that that house prices in the latest quarter were 0.1% lower than in the preceding quarter, representing the third consecutive decline on this measure.
Looking at the results on a monthly basis, house prices fell by 3.1% in April, following a 1.6% rise in March, which the index said “reflects the volatility in the short-term monthly measure”.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “We’ve seen annual house price growth ease from 2.7% in March to 2.2% in April. House prices in the three months to April were 0.1% lower than the previous three months. Both the quarterly and annual rates have fallen since reaching a recent peak last autumn, with these measures providing a more stable indication of the underlying trend than the monthly change.
“Housing demand has softened in the early months of 2018, with both mortgage approvals and completed home sales edging down. Housing supply – as measured by the stock of homes for sale and new instructions – is also still very low. However, the UK labour market is performing strongly with unemployment continuing to fall and wage growth finally picking up. These factors should help to ease pressure on household finances and as a result we expect annual price growth will remain in our forecast range of 0-3% this year.”
House sales in the UK dropped by more than 7.2% between February and March to 92,270, the lowest level seen since May 2016. Since December 2017, UK house sales have averaged at around 97,000 per month, according to HMRC’s seasonally-adjusted figures.
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