30 Apr

Houses prices 'lower than a year ago'

Houses prices 'lower than a year ago'

House prices fell by 1.1 per cent in April, according to the latest data from Nationwide.

The price of a typical house is now £178,555 - one per cent lower than at this time last year, which represents the first year-on-year fall in prices since March 1996.

Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's chief economist, noted that there has also been a "steep decline" in house purchase transactions over the last six months and predicted that the weaker housing market is likely to bring about additional rate cuts from the Bank of England.

She suggested that the falling house prices reflect "the weakening sentiment in the market brought about by poor affordability and tighter financial market conditions".

Bank of England data released yesterday showed that the number of loans approved for house purchase in March was lower both than in February and the previous six-month average, at 64,000.

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