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Halifax: House prices down 0.6% in April

Ryan Fowler

May 7, 2020

April saw house prices fall by 0.6% on a monthly basis as coronavirus restrictions impact the market. 

However, house prices in April were still 2.7% higher than in the same month a year earlier.

In the latest quarter (February to April) house prices were 0.7% higher than in the preceding three months (November to January).

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “The impact of measures taken to curtail the spread of coronavirus started to filter through to the housing market in April, with average prices falling by 0.6% compared to March, and the annual growth rate easing to 2.7%.

“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 kick-start 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.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, added: “The UK property market is one of the cornerstones of the economy and releasing it from the shackles of the current pandemic must be a priority if we are to ensure it remains in good health.

“Although the damage appears minimal at present, it will take a few months before the full extent is clear in any market data.

“At present, our hands are tied and we simply don’t have the operational capacity as agents to service the industry. This must be the first focus and once we are back up and running, buyers and sellers will return in their droves as we remain a nation of aspirational homeowners.”


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