"The market is entering a bumpy phase. Just as buyers and sellers paused after last September‘s mini-Budget, so they are doing so again."
Average UK house prices increased by 3.5% in the 12 months to April, down from 4.1% in March and the recent peak of 14.2% in July 2022, according to the latest UK House Price Index from the Land Registry.
The average UK house price was £286,000 in April, which is £9,000 higher than 12 months ago, but £7,000 below the recent peak in September 2022.
Average house prices increased over the 12 months by 3.7% in England (3.7%), 2.0% in both Wales and Scotland, and 5.0% in Northern Ireland.
The North East saw the highest annual percentage change of all English regions in the 12 months to April (5.5%), while London saw the lowest at 2.4%.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average UK house price increased by 0.4% in April, following a month-on-month decrease of 0.7% in March. The average UK house price rise in April was driven by rising house prices in the North East (1.4%) and London (1.2%).
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices increased by 0.5% in April, following a month-on-month decrease of 0.9% in March.
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, commented: "The market is entering a bumpy phase. Just as buyers and sellers paused after last September‘s mini-Budget, so they are doing so again.
"However, in our offices we are not seeing serious price corrections, renegotiation of previously-agreed terms or mass withdrawals. There’s still plenty of cash and equity-rich buyers who want to profit from advantageous mortgage rates and price sensitivity so are negotiating hard.
"Looking forward, we don’t expect much change until inflation and mortgage rates settle though some price softening is inevitable."
Vikki Jefferies, propositions director at Primis, added: “The figures today are not a surprise given the strain of higher interest rates and unpredictability on the housing market. However, it is a positive sign that house prices still remain well-above pre-pandemic levels, and the downward trend has been much less pronounced than some had predicted at the beginning of the year.
“The main challenge for homebuyers now is a volatile mortgage market, which has seen mortgage rates rise to their highest levels since Q4 2022. With more than 400,000 people seeing their existing fixed deals end between July and September, it is crucial that borrowers seek financial advice as soon as possible to ensure they are getting the best deal.
“Given the upcoming Consumer Duty deadline, brokers must recognise that it is essential to understand the individual needs of every client to find the most suitable product for them during this period. Mortgage networks’ training and workshops can provide invaluable support for brokers in managing customer and lender relations at this time.”