Data published by Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) showed that house prices fell by 0.3% in April, partially offsetting a 0.8% increase in March. This was the first price decline since the beginning of 2023. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2%.
Meanwhile, in annual terms, house price growth slowed to 0.1% (the weakest growth since December 2012) from 1.6% in March. This meant the average property value in April was 286,896 pounds, compared to 287,880 pounds in March. Consensus estimates suggested a 0.9% increase. HBOS said the sharp slowdown in price growth was due to higher interest rates and increased concerns about the cost of living.
According to the report, in April existing property prices have declined by 0.6% per annum, while new-build house prices have risen by 3.5% per annum, providing some support to the broader market.
Meanwhile, figures from rival lender Nationwide, published last week, indicated that house prices grew for the first time in eight months in April amid signs that mortgage applications are picking up. The lender said prices rose by 0.5% compared to the previous month, with the annual rate of price declines also slowing to 2.7% from a fall of 3.1% in March.