U.K. home prices fell sharply in April, further signaling that the housing market is weakening, according to Halifax, the country’s biggest mortgage lender.
Last month, average house prices across the U.K. declined 3.1% from March to £220,962 (US$299,335), marking the largest monthly drop since September 2010, according to Halifax, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group.
Annually, house prices rose 2.2%, slower than the 2.7% growth rate posted in March.
The downward price trend was the latest sign that the housing market in the U.K. is softening, said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, in the report released Tuesday.
The mortgage lender also found that mortgage approvals and completed home sales have been edging down since the start of 2018, Mr. Galley said.
The report doesn’t break down luxury data.
Also, confidence in U.K. housing prices remained the lowest level since 2013. About half of consumers surveyed expected prices to rise, down from 58% a year ago, according to a Halifax report released in April.
But Mr. Galley stressed that U.K. housing markets will not collapse, due to the country’s solid economic fundamentals.
“The U.K. labour market is performing strongly with unemployment continuing to fall and wage growth finally picking up,” he wrote in the report. “These factors should help to ease pressure on household finances and as a result, we expect annual price growth will remain in our forecast range 0-3% this year.”
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