Home prices rose for a second month in April

Home prices

The average price of a home rose to £281,000, a 1.1% increase compared with a year ago, the ONS said on Wednesday, citing Land Registry records

UK home prices rose for a second successive month in April, according to official data, indicating the housing market is stabilising after a decline last year.

The average price of a home rose to £281,000, a 1.1% increase compared with a year ago, the ONS said on Wednesday, citing Land Registry records. This followed a 0.9% rise in March, which was revised down from 1.9%.

Those figures capped eight months of declines in the official measure of house prices and add to evidence that the market avoided a collapse that many analysts predicted after the BoE pushed interest rates to a 16-year high. Mortgage lenders, using more timely data from loans they make, say prices have almost stagnated in the last few months.

Property experts hope a bounce back will materialise in the second half of the year, when the BoE could lower borrowing costs as inflation returned to target.

The ONS’ House Price Index, which measures prices when property transactions are completed, is the most reliable indicator of the market as it includes cash buyers who do not need a loan. It is also the most lagging indicator.

Nationwide Building Society recorded mild growth in May, while Halifax data pointed towards stagnation with a 0.1% drop in property values that month.

Since the start of the year, we have seen healthy progress within the housing sector, with consumers finding a sensible balance of affordability and market confidence, according to Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark. We should see a stable market for the foreseeable future.

The Office for National Statistics said the North West and the East Midlands were the regions seeing the highest increase in house prices. At the same time, London house prices dropped 3.9% to £281,373 in the year to April.

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