UK House Prices Stabilise: April 2024 Update

Falling house prices look like they have levelled off and are about to bounce back, according to the latest official data.

After spending eight months in a row in the red, prices have stabilised and rose slightly in March and April 2024.

The movement may not be a trend yet, but prices are going in the right direction for landlords hoping for capital growth.

The latest Office for National Statistics house price data revealed that it was up 0.9 per cent in March 2024 and 1.1 per cent in April. ONS data, unfortunately, lags the market,  but other more recent statistics from major mortgage lenders agree prices have turned a corner.

The Halifax announced prices gained 1.5 per cent in the year to May, while rivals the Nationwide agreed house values are rising but pitched the rise in the middle of the ONS and Halifax data at 1.3 per cent.

Homes earn owners £60 a week in capital growth

Despite months of falling values, homes are still worth more than a year ago.

The ONS plumps for a UK average house price of £281,000 - £3,000 more than in April 2023, climbing at a rate of £60 a week.

The Halifax disagrees, valuing the average home at £288,688 in May, while the Nationwide slaps on an average price tag of £264,240.

Amanda Bryden, Head of Mortgages, Halifax, said: “Market activity remained resilient throughout the spring, supported by solid wage growth and evidence of an improvement in confidence about the economic outlook. This has been reflected in a broadly stable picture of property price movements, with the average cost of a property slightly changing over the past three months.

“A period of relative stability in both house prices and interest rates should give a degree of confidence to both buyers and sellers. While homebuyers and those remortgaging will continue to respond to changes in borrowing costs, set against a backdrop of a limited supply of available properties, the market is unlikely to see huge fluctuations in the near term.”

Market has stabilised

The online property portal Rightmove observed that property prices traditionally stayed flat in June, and this year seems to be no exception.

“Agreed sales and buyer inquiries are steady, although some evidence suggests fewer new sellers are coming to the market since the election announcement,” said Rightmove director of property science Tim Bannister.

The Nationwide explained that the General Election 2024 is unlikely to impact housing market trends.

Looking at house price data for every election since 1997, the prevailing trends are maintained before, during, and after the six elections and the Brexit referendum.

“Housing market trends have not traditionally been impacted around general elections. Rightly or wrongly, for most homebuyers, elections are not foremost in their minds while buying or selling property,” said the building society’s chief economist, Robert Gardner.

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