New figures from Halifax have shown UK house prices have fallen for the third consecutive month.
The mortgage lender found the average UK house price to fall 0.2% in May to £237,808.
As the UK went into lockdown, buyers and sellers were told to delay their moves and suspend new viewings. Since the relaxation of lockdown measures in mid-May, however, there has been an increase of interest from buyers.
The property website, Zoopla, reported a 88% rise in online demand after following the ease in restrictions. Taylor Wimpey said on Friday there was strong interest from buyers since reopening its sales centers.
The managing director of Halifax, Russell Galley, has said that calculating house prices during the pandemic are “challenging”.
“Looking ahead, we expect market activity to increase progressively as restrictions are eased further across the whole of the UK and we continue to have confidence in the underlying health of the housing market over the long term.”
“However, the extent of downward pressure on market confidence and prices over the coming months will depend on how quickly the economy is able to recover from the effects of the pandemic and the available government policy support for jobs and households,” he added.
The Office for National Statistics has suspended its official house price index due to insufficient data.
The EY Item Club economic forecasting group has said that house prices will fall by about 5% over the next few months.
Howard Archer, the chief economic advisor, said: “Housing market activity is likely to be limited in the near term … Many people have already lost their jobs, despite the supportive government measures, while others will be worried that they may still end up losing theirs once the furlough scheme ends. ”