House prices have steadily dropped during the past six months, according to the UK’s leading mortgage provider.
Although prices in the three months to April 30 were 2.2% up on the same quarter last year, they were 0.5% down from the 2.7% growth posted in March 2018.
Home values for the three months February to April 2018 were 0.1% lower than those in the previous three months – the third quarter in a row that has seen a fall.
Looking at the prices separately for each month, home values dropped 3.1% following a 1.7% increase in March, said The Halifax.
Russell Galley, the lender’s managing director, said: “We’ve seen annual house price growth ease from 2.7% in March to 2.2% in April. House prices in the three months to April were 0.1% lower than the previous three months. Both the quarterly and annual rates have fallen since reaching a recent peak last autumn, with these measures providing a more stable indication of the underlying trend than the monthly change.
“Housing demand has softened in the early months of 2018, with both mortgage approvals and completed home sales edging down. Housing supply – as measured by the stock of homes for sale and new instructions – is also still low.
“However, the UK labour market is performing strongly with unemployment continuing to fall and wage growth finally picking up. These factors should help to ease pressure on household finances and as a result we expect annual price growth will remain in our forecast range of 0-3% this year.”
Other research by the lender suggests confidence in the housing market is at the lowest level since 2013.
Although 50% expect house prices to rise, 17% predict a fall in values, while 26% forecast no change.