House prices up 0.2% in April
UK house prices rose by an average 0.2% in April (compared with 0.3% a month earlier), as instructions for house sales outstripped new enquiries from potential buyers.
According to Hometrack, the number of new buyers registering with agents rose by 1%, the smallest increase so far this year, while growth in new instructions stood at 3.7%.
However, the housing intelligence firm puts the average value of a home up 1.8% on a year ago, at £158,500.
In April, home sellers saw the percentage of asking price achieved hold steady at 94%, and the average time it taken to sell a home stabilise, at 8.3 weeks.
Hometrack’s research director, Richard Donnell, says: “There has been evidence for some months that the supply/demand balance has been changing steadily, but the buyer slowdown has been exacerbated by the announcement of a May election.”
According to Mr Donnell, the improvements seen in the market during 2009 reflected pent up demand whereas today, rising unemployment, lack of mortgage funding, public spending cuts and the prospect of tax rises create the backdrop to “a fragile and increasingly polarised housing market”.
London remains at the heart of the recovery, with the average home achieving a rise of 0.6% in April.