House prices stable in May

House prices stable in May

Housing intelligence firm, Hometrack, has reported that house prices in England and Wales stabilised in May, following a 20 month period of decline.

The result follows a 0.3% fall in April and leaves the average cost of a home at £155,600, down 9.6% on a year ago.

Last month only 13% of postcode districts recorded price falls, compared with 32% in April and over 50% in March.

However, in line with other commentators on the market, Hometrack cautions that it is too soon to predict a recovery in the housing market.

The firm’s director of research, Richard Donnell, says: “Given the weak outlook for the economy, house prices are expected to remain under downward pressure for the foreseeable future.”

The research also revealed a 9% month-on-month rise in the number of sales agreed during May, while the number of potential buyers registered on estate agents’ books increased 6%.

Last week, Nationwide reported a 1.2% rise in house prices in May, compared with April.

The increase was the second in three months to be detected by the building society and takes the annual rate of decline to 11.3%.

However, the lender warned that rising unemployment and the ongoing tightening of lending criteria could mean further monthly falls.

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