House price growth dipped last month, ending three consecutive months of growth, the latest Halifax’s house price index revealed on Tuesday.
According to the data, annual price growth dropped to 0.1% in April compared to an increase of 1.6% in March.
The average price of a home in the UK is currently £286,896, down almost £1,000 month-on-month.
The current figure is around £7,000 less than last summer’s peak, although £28,000 higher than two summers ago.
Kim Kinnaird, director, Halifax Mortgages, said: “The economy has proven to be resilient, with a robust labour market and consumer price inflation predicted to decelerate sharply in the coming months.
“Mortgage rates are now stabilising, and though they remain well above the average of recent years, this gives important certainty to would-be buyers.
“While the housing market as a whole remains subdued, the number of properties for sale is also slowly increasing, as sellers adapt to market conditions. While the housing market as a whole remains subdued, the number of properties for sale is also slowly increasing, as sellers adapt to market conditions.
“Alongside a market-wide uptick in mortgage approvals, these latest figures may indicate a more steady environment.”
Nicky Stevenson, MD at Fine & Country, commented: “Annual house price growth slowed in April, as sellers are proving increasingly realistic about the current economic picture and are pricing their properties accordingly.
“However, there are signs that lower prices and better negotiation prospects for buyers is leading to a resurgence in activity, with mortgage approvals rising significantly in March.”
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said: “House prices are in a state of flux across the country, with the picture changing from month to month. Clearly we are seeing a slowdown in house price growth, but it is more modest than initially expected.
“There has been a £7,000 fall in the average cost of a house since last summer, but this is still much higher than pre-pandemic levels.
“Sales are holding steady for the time being and many estate agents are now able to offer more choice after spending the winter trying to replenish their stock.”
Jason Tebb, CEO of OnTheMarket.com, commented: “With annual house price inflation slowing to 0.1% from 1.6% in March, prices are largely flat compared with this time last year, suggesting a level of stability has returned to the housing market. After the unprecedented uncertainty of the autumn when mortgage rates soared, this is welcome and our own data supports this, with buyer and seller sentiment resilient as the busier spring market kicks into gear.
“While there may be another rise in interest rates this month and although inflation continues to exert pressure on household finances, there is an expectation that both are close to their peak, if not there already.
“As committed buyers continue to get on with the job of moving, sellers must price realistically with the assistance of an experienced local agent in order to achieve a timely and successful outcome.”
Carl Howard, Group CEO of Andrews, said: “Despite a slight dip in house prices in April, it’s still a much rosier picture compared with last autumn.
“Fears of a sustained property slump appear to be being dispelled as other measures of house prices point to an increasingly busy spring.
“With mortgage approvals rising significantly in March, buyers who were previously sitting tight are now feeling more confident and committing to a move.
“Sellers are also willing to be flexible with house prices, which is generating more activity and pushing more sales over the line.
“For prospective first-time buyers hoping for a slump, the market’s resilience may not come as welcome news, particularly while inflation remains stubbornly high. Many will still be putting their property searches on hold to see how the economy springs back.”
Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “The UK housing market is regaining its footing after being knocked sideways by last September’s mini-Budget. You can quibble about whether prices are up or down but the big picture is that annual growth is broadly flat and transactions clearly hit their low-point in January.
“It should be a steady year, with the impact of a recovering economy kept in check by mortgage rates that are notably higher than 18 months ago. It will also be the most predictable year for the housing market since 2018. As the political temperature rises and a 2024 general election moves onto the radar, switched-on buyers and sellers are acting while the backdrop remains relatively uneventful.”