House price inflation stays steady in April says Halifax
House price inflation stayed steady in April, rising by a marginal 1.1%, according to Halifax house price figures for the month.
The figure meant that the annual rate was dragged down from 11.1% in March to 10.9% last month, with the average price of a UK property now standing at £196,745.
Halifax predicts that recent interest rate rises, including last week’s 0.25% hike, will mean that house price inflation will lessen throughout 2007.
Despite the sharp acceleration in house prices over the past year, Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis said: “House prices increased by 1.1% in April; this is the smallest monthly increase so far this year and the second lowest since July 2006.
“There is accumulating evidence of a slight easing of conditions in the housing market, with further signs of moderation in both demand and activity in the past month.”
Halifax also pointed to a recent fall in mortgage approvals and a further drop in inquiries from potential new buyers as evidence of a cooling in demand.
Mortgage lenders are known to be concerned that the extra financial burden for homebuyers caused by higher interest rates will slow down the property market, possibly too sharply for its own good.
There are also worries that people will market their homes before Home Information Packs are introduced – to avoid the cost – and then there will be a shortage of available properties.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) also pointed to a 1.1% rise in house prices between February and March.