Lockdown leads to house price fall during April

Lockdown has hit the UK property market hard. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Lockdown has hit the UK property market hard. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

UK house prices fell by 0.6 per cent between March and April – but were up 2.7 per cent on a year ago.

According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, prices between February and April were also up 0.7 per cent on the previous quarter (November to January), with the average UK home now costing £238,511.

Government measures taken to limit the spread of coronavirus have hit the housing market hard, with lockdown freezing much of the industry.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “With market activity currently almost at a complete standstill, the limited number of transactions available means that calculating average house prices has inevitably become more challenging. This will lead to a great deal of volatility until more data becomes available.”

He said that we won’t get a sense of the new “temporary normal” conditions within the market until lockdown restrictions are eased, and agents take on the challenge of viewings and valuations with social distancing measures in place.

“More immediately, we are likely to see some considerable movement in activity levels as buyers and sellers seek to kick-start previously agreed transactions which are likely to have stalled or been delayed,” he said.

“The future remains uncertain and based on our current forecasting we expect short-term headwinds to house prices, although we maintain our underlying confidence in the health of the housing market in the longer term.”