House prices dip 0.2 per cent in three months to May: Halifax

House prices in the UK rose 3.3 per cent in the three months to May compared to the same period last year but fell 0.2 per cent on the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, Halifax reports.

The lender’s latest house price index found that the annual price rise was the lowest since May 2013 and is roughly a third of the 10 per cent peak rise reached in March 2016.

The average UK house price is now £220,706, 43 per cent higher than the low point of £154,663 seen in April 2009.

House sales fell by 3 per cent between March and April, to 99,910, following three successive months when sales were above 100,000, but sales were 2 per cent higher than in the preceding three months.

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Completed house sales fell by 2 per cent between March and April, to 64,600, while Halifax says that supply remains very low with the number of properties coming on to the market falling for the 14th consecutive month in April.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “The fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, is likely to support house price levels over the coming months.”

James Pendleton estate agents director Lucy Pendleton says: “We are in a sideward-moving, not downward-spiralling, market.

“The real issue in the market at present is a reduction in the number of buyers, with more cautious landlords a key factor in this.

“Stock is less an issue than some are making it out to be.

“While first time buyers, spurred on by exceptionally cheap mortgage finance and some helped by the Bank of Mum and Dad, are taking up a good level of the slack, landlords are still weighing up their options.

“Who can blame them? There has been a lot of change over the past year or two.

“In the capital, the search for yield has evolved into a search for capital growth and many landlords have either dug in or are exploring new areas.

“At the higher end of the market, tiered stamp duty is considerably more of an issue than Brexit.

“In London, political uncertainty is playing far less a role in the flat market than everyday households being hit exceptionally hard in their pockets through stamp duty.”