UK house prices posted their largest monthly fall in eight years during April, according to Halifax’s House Price Index. While prices were up by 2.2% year-on-year, they fell by 3.1% relative to March and 0.1% against the previous quarter.
To a degree, this drop could represent increased pricing volatility in the monthly measure as sales volumes fall, but the quarterly rate may be an indication that prices are stagnating. With mortgage approvals and sales completions both dropping and supply at historically low levels, this weakness could be set to continue.
New instructions and buyer enquiries have both been falling for the last year and consumer confidence in the market is poor. However, a majority still expect prices to rise over the next year, and positive employment and wage growth figures suggest that a true collapse is relatively unlikely.