The latest numbers from Halifax for April show that UK house prices have jumped annually by 2.2%, while monthly figures have dropped by -3.1%, making the average house price £220,962.
Although this month suffered a decline in property values – a drop from £228102 to £220,962, there is a silver lining for those looking to get on the ladder with a slight increase in housing stock and a lower average property prices across the UK as we go into what is traditionally the busiest time of the year in the residential property market.
The number of mortgages has also fallen for the second month in a row by 1.4% according to the Bank of England, which could be a result of the lower than normal optimism in the housing market among Britons.
The continued lack of variety in the current UK housing stock is resulting in some fairly erratic movements where monthly price growth is concerned. We are seeing waves of buyer demand ebb and flow and in a market with restricted stock, the result is inconsistent movements in house price growth.
Yet another new appointment to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government will do little to inspire confidence in the market, however, the rather predictable shortfall of affordable housing being built by the Government should continue to stimulate property prices in the medium to long-term.
Looking beyond the monthly measurement, the market has certainly stabilised and while it isn’t quite firing on all cylinders, it has certainly turned a corner and should continue to do so as the year plays out.Russell Quirk