April house prices show 2.7% annual growth

House prices in April were 2.7% higher than in the same month a year earlier, figures published in the latest Halifax House Price Index have revealed.

Halifax also reported that on a monthly basis, house prices in April were 0.6% lower than in March.

The index suggested the impact of measures taken to curtail the spread of coronavirus had started to filter through to the housing market in April.

The data had also revealed that in the latest quarter – the period from February to April – house prices were 0.7% higher than in the preceding three months from November to January.

Halifax managing director, Russell Galley, commented: “With market activity currently almost at a complete standstill, the limited number of transactions available means that calculating average house prices has inevitably become more challenging. This will lead to a great deal of volatility until more data becomes available.

“It will not be until after lockdown restrictions are eased that we will get a sense of the new temporary normal conditions for the housing market. Social distancing raises new challenges for home viewings and valuations and this will require the industry to adapt to build and maintain consumer confidence.

“More immediately, we are likely to see some considerable movement in activity levels as buyers and sellers seek to kickstart previously agreed transactions which are likely to have stalled or been delayed. 

“The future remains uncertain and based on our current forecasting we expect short-term headwinds to house prices, although we maintain our underlying confidence in the health of the housing market in the longer term.”

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