UK house price growth unexpectedly eases in April
House prices in the three months to April were up 2.2%, down from the 2.7% growth seen in March and below expectations for a 3.3% increase.
On a monthly basis, prices were down 3.1% following a 1.6% rise in March, missing expectations for a much smaller drop of 0.2%.
On a quarterly basis, meanwhile, prices were 0.1% lower than in the preceding three months, marking the third consecutive declined for this measure.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: "Both the quarterly and annual rates have fallen since reaching a recent peak last autumn, with these measures providing a more stable indication of the underlying trend than the monthly change.
"Housing demand has softened in the early months of 2018, with both mortgage approvals and completed home sales edging down. Housing supply - as measured by the stock of homes for sale and new instructions - is also still very low.
"However, the UK labour market is performing strongly with unemployment continuing to fall and wage growth finally picking up. These factors should help to ease pressure on household finances and as a result we expect annual price growth will remain in our forecast range 0-3% this year." ■