Sales decline as house prices rise

The number of homes sold in April has fallen as figures show that house prices have risen every month for the last year.

The latest house price index from Acadametrics, based on actual house prices from the Land Registry, shows that the average house price in England and Wales rose 0.5% last month to £225,963.

House prices are now 12.9% higher than a year ago, and have risen on an annual basis for the last six months.

London continues to see house prices climb, with increases driven by the top end of the market.

But the rise in prices appears to be slowing down the housing market. There were an estimated 50,600 properties sold in April, 5% lower than March and the second lowest figure recorded for the month since records began in 1995.

Peter Williams, chairman of Acadametrics, says: “Transaction numbers have fallen and it is quite clear we have been witnessing buyer competition in a market characterised by weak supply.

“This in turn reflects the great uncertainty that now hangs over the whole market.”

He adds: “One of the key questions is whether the further 19% decline in sales this year from average is a consequence of exceptional circumstances, such as the poor weather in January and February, and the ending of the previous Stamp Duty holiday in December 2009, or is it indicative of further weakness in the current housing market?”