UK house prices rose 1.1% in year to April – Halifax House Price Index 

The average UK house price rose 1.1% in the year to April but was only 0.1% higher than the previous month.

After a series of disappointing house price movements in early 2024, the UK property market has found its feet and has arguably bottomed out.

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“UK house prices held steady in April, rising on a monthly basis by just +0.1% (less than £200 in cash terms). Annual growth rose to +1.1%, from +0.4% in March, though this can be attributed to the base effect of weaker price growth around this time last year,” said Amanda Bryden, Head of Mortgages, Halifax.

“The average property now costs £288,949, compared to £287,244 at the start of the year. While there is always much scrutiny of monthly price changes – and a degree of volatility is to be expected given current market conditions – the reality is that average house prices have largely plateaued in the early part of 2024.”

While the headline figures provide a very broad average for the entire UK, regional price movements highlight massive disparities in house price performance across the UK.

The North West is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of the national average, with house prices rising 3.3% in April while the east of England saw prices 1.1%.

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The higher prices in the South are impacting activity, and it’s in this region that higher mortgage rates are felt most. 

“It might look like house prices have stabilised, staying relatively flat over the first four months of 2024, but look a little closer at the annual figures and the market is wonky – with the north/south divide seeing prices climb in the north and drop steadily in the south,” said Sarah Coles, head of personal finance, Hargreaves Lansdown.

“This is a function of the fact that mortgage rates remain so stubbornly high. Banks are pricing in the fact that the Bank of England’s cuts are expected later than they had hoped for earlier in 2024. At the end of April, the average 2-year fixed rate mortgage had crept up to 5.87% – from 5.8% at the end of March. It’s not a dramatic move, but it’s in the wrong direction, and it’s coming at a time when homeowners expected mortgage rates to be dropping.”

Today’s data is the latest in a series of releases that underscore house prices are recovering from the worst levels, but momentum is very weak. 

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