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House price drops 1.7 per cent in April, says Halifax

The average price of UK homes dropped by 1.7 per cent to £154,716 in April, according to the latest figures from Halifax.

It in its monthly House Price Index, Halifax found the average house price dropped 1.7 per cent, slightly less than March, which saw a 1.9 per cent drop. The drop represents a year-on-year decline of 17.7 per cent.

In April Halifax recorded its lowest house price to average earnings ratio since September 2002. The ratio has declined by 27 per cent from a peak of 5.84 in July 2007 to an estimated 4.26 in April 2009.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “The house price to earnings ratio – a key measure of housing affordability – is at its lowest level since the autumn of 2002 at 4.26. Mortgage rate cuts have reduced monthly payments for the average existing borrower, also boosting affordability.

“Rising unemployment, low consumer confidence and the reduced availability of credit are all expected to exert downward pressure on the housing market over the next few months. As a result, further house price declines are likely.”

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