April sees slowdown in annual price growth
The annual pace of house price growth moderated in April to 4.9%, dropping from 5.7% in March, according to Nationwide.
The mutual noted that prices rose slightly by 0.2% over the month, taking the average UK property price to £202,435.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “The annual rate of house price growth moderated to 4.9% from 5.7% in March.
“It may be that the surge in house purchase activity resulting from the increase in Stamp Duty on second homes from 1st April provided a temporary boost to prices in March.
“However, it is possible that the recent pattern of strong employment growth, rising real earnings, low borrowing costs and constrained supply will tilt the demand/supply balance in favour of sellers and exert upward pressure on price growth once again in the quarters ahead.”
Mark Posniak, managing director at Dragonfly Property Finance, added: “After such a mad March, a house price hangover in April was almost inevitable. There’s a fair chance the market will now be relatively subdued in the run-up to the EU referendum.
“Whether we’re in or out of Europe could affect whether prices go up or down for some time to come.”