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House prices slide in April

House prices slide in April

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 03/05/2012
First Published: 03/05/2012

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House prices fell by 0.2% in April – the fourth decline in five months, new figures have revealed.

Last month's slender fall came after a 1.0% drop in house prices in March, according to Nationwide.

The latest fall means that house prices in the UK have fallen by 0.9% since April 2011, and ended last month at £164,134.

It has been warned that with activity likely to remain subdued, prices will show little growth or fall slightly over the next 12 months.

The housing market has thrown up some unlikely trends recently – such as a strong upturn in first time buyer numbers – but this is likely to weaken as the effects of the stamp duty holiday pass.

It provided a temporary boost to house prices early this year as buyers brought forward purchases that would have otherwise taken place later in the year.

Figures out yesterday from the Bank of England showed that the number of house purchases has already begun to fall away from levels seen at the beginning of the year.

It is hoped the Government's NewBuy scheme - which allows buyers to secure a home with deposits from as little as 5% - will help sustain some momentum in the housing market.

"The effect should fade in the months ahead, and measures such as the Government's NewBuy scheme should provide some support to buyer demand," said Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide.

"However, the challenging economic backdrop suggests that a significant acceleration of prices or activity is unlikely in the near term."

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