Halifax reports 1.4% fall in April house prices
The Halifax has today revealed UK house prices plunged by 1.4% in April compared with March, driven by weak consumer confidence in the housing market.
The latest house price rise takes the average cost of a UK home to £160,395, the Halifax said.
Meanwhile, on an annual basis, prices are 3.7% lower – the biggest annual fall since October 2009, said the lender.
Uncertainty surrounding the economy will drive prices lower this year and the housing market will remain subdued, many reports have suggested.
Commenting on today‘s report, Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: “Weak confidence amongst households, partly due to uncertainty over the economic outlook, is constraining housing demand and resulting in some downward movement in prices.”
However, on a positive note, Mr Ellis said low mortgage rates and a rise in the number of people with jobs should ease the pace of house price falls.
In comparison, last week the Nationwide reported a 0.2% fall in house prices for the month of April, taking the average house price to £165,609.
In related news, last week a report from leading think-tank, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), forecast UK house prices will fall by 4.5% in 2011, followed by an average 1.5% fall in each of the subsequent four years.