Pace of house price growth slows
House price annual inflation was 5.8% in England, 1.3% in Wales, 2.2% in Scotland and 8.8% in Northern Ireland.
The pace of annual house price growth fell across the majority of the UK in April 2015. Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in the East (9.6%) and the South East (8.4%).
Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.0% in the 12 months to April 2015.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices fell by 1.3% between March and April 2015.
In April 2015, prices paid by first-time buyers were 5.8% higher on average than in April 2014. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 5.4% for the same period.
Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of Dragonfly Property Finance, said: “The fall of prices in London from the Olympian heights they were a year or two ago has placed significant downward pressure on the annual rate of inflation across the UK as a whole.
“If, as this report suggests, the extent of the drop-off in annual prices between March and April is due to the price slowdown in London, this underlines quite powerfully the extent to which the capital can skew the UK average.
“But while annual London prices fell below the UK average for the first time in nine years in April, I wouldn’t expect them to stay there for long.
“Since April, the market has picked up and is currently being shaped by strong demand and curiously weak supply. The lack of supply is putting sellers in an increasingly strong position —and causing prices to rise again.
“As Rightmove showed earlier this week, asking prices have risen further and it’s hard to see this trend reversing with so few properties coming onto the market.
“With the cost of living low, mortgage rates exceptional, a strong jobs market and renewed political certainty given the general election result, there are plenty of reasons why demand has improved.
“Exactly why supply is so weak given the decent achievable prices right now is hard to fathom.”