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House prices stable in April

House prices remained stable throughout April, declining by just 0.1 per cent, following a 1 per cent increase in March, according to Halifax’s latest house price index.

House prices in April were 6.6 per cent higher on an annual basis. This was the largest increase in the annual rate of change since October 2007.

Prices are 8.7 per cent above their April 2009 trough, an increase of £13,539 over the period. The average house price is now £168,202, 16 per cent below its August 2007 peak.

Housing economist Martin Ellis says: “House prices were broadly flat in April, declining by just 0.1 per cent.  This followed a 1 per cent increase in March.  The underlying rate of house price growth has slowed in recent months following the relatively sharp rebound, albeit from a low base, in the second half of 2009. 

“The improvement in house prices since spring 2009 has encouraged more people to try to sell their property.  New sales instructions have risen, helping to push up the stock of unsold properties in recent months.  As a result, the imbalance between supply and demand is easing somewhat.  Our view is that house prices will be flat during 2010 as a whole.”

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