UK house prices remained static last month with the average house losing 0.2% of its value according to new figures out this week.
Statistics revealed by Nationwide Building Society show that houses prices have remained fairly static over the last 6 months, with prices rising in 3 months and falling in 3 months respectively. The figures also show that at £165,609, the average UK house now costs around 1.3% less than this time last year.
This 1.3% drop represents the largest year-on-year decline experienced in the UK housing market since January. The building society’s 3 month on 3 month comparison report showed house prices picked up by 0.6% in the 3 months leading up to April compared to Q4 2010.
Despite the modest pick up, figures released by the British Bankers’ Association show mortgage approvals in March totalled 31,660 – a figure which is significantly lower than the figure of 70,000-80,000 approvals a month which is considered to be consistent with a stable property market.
The building society said it expected prices to continue to fall over the coming 12 months as and said that a rebound in house prices was extremely “unlikely”.
“In our view, the most likely outcome is that house prices will continue to move sideways or drift modestly lower through 2011,” commented Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner.
He said that if the economic recovery gains momentum, the labour market improves and interest rates remain low, demand for the UK housing market could receive a much needed boost in the latter half of 2011.