House prices were down 1% in June as the UK experienced its lowest year-on-year growth for four years.
The 1% fall takes the average price of a property to £218,390.
Prices in the period between April and June were 0.1% lower than they were in the previous three months – this represents the third successive quarterly fall, something that was last seen in November 2012.
Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “House prices have flattened over the past three months. Overall, prices in the three months to June were marginally lower than in the preceding three months.
“Although employment levels continue to rise, household finances face increasing pressure as consumer prices grow faster than wages. This, combined the new stamp duty on buy to let and second homes in 2016, appears to have weakened housing demand in recent months.
“A continued low mortgage rate environment, combined with an ongoing acute shortage of properties for sale should help continue to underpin house prices over the coming months.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “‘We should take some comfort from the Halifax figures because they are showing a fairly steady market at a time when we would have expected a bit more uncertainty in the period leading up to the general election. It is mildly encouraging to note that the modest price increase is based on, not so much a shortage of stock but a reasonable number of approvals for the time of year.
“Another positive sign is the number of first-time buyers who are active. On the ground, we are finding that they are taking the place of buy-to-let investors hit by increases in tax and legislative responsibilities.”
And Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added: “Speculation about whether interest rates are going to rise sooner rather than later continues but mortgage rates are so far unaffected as lenders compete for business with cheap deals. With lenders continuing to offer a good range of high loan-to-value deals at competitive rates, first-time buyer numbers are strong, which is encouraging for the overall health of the housing market.”
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