UK house prices in first quarterly fall since 2012

House prices falling, banks are not lending as much

UK house prices are “stagnating” and have actually fallen in the last three months, according to the Halifax.

The average property fell in value by 0.1% in April, according to data from Halifax. Although this is not as steep as the 0.4% monthly fall recorded by Nationwide, it puts both major indices on a similar downward trend.

Halifax said the average price fell to £219,649 in April from £219,788 in March. House prices reached an all-time peak of £222,190 in December 2016. The annual rate of price inflation remained at 3.8% in April, Halifax said, the lowest rate for four years.

The Bank of England has also said that the number of mortgages being approved has fallen for two months running.

The falls in house prices are also reflected in falling rents in many parts of the country. Rents haven’t fallen year on year in London as many estate agents are suggesting and are flat in many parts of the southern UK. Some fresh evidence of the post-Brexit vote slowdown in the property market is evident, however many put this down to a peak in purchase following the changes to stamp duty.

Continued low mortgage rates and housing supply issues should underpin house prices in the coming months, said Martin Ellis, Economist from Halifax. However, some mortgage brokers are reporting that “down valuations” by surveyors are becoming increasingly common.

A definite drop in foreign purchases is expected amongst the uncertainty of Brexit negotiations and with the continued development of northern cities Manchester and Leeds, big investment and rental gains are attracting a lot of southern investors.


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