Land Registry figures have shown that house prices fell overall by 0.2% in April, bringing annual inflation down to 2.7% nationally, the eighth consecutive decrease in annual house price growth.
The average house price now stands at £183,626 says the report, down from £184,798. However London bucks this trend, still recording annual growth of 6.8%, down from the March figure of 10.5%.
The report also found that regionally the East Midlands, Wales and the West Midlands all experienced year-on-year falls with Wales falling fastest, whereas the South East experienced the greatest house price rise annual, recording an increase of 0.5%, and the most significant monthly falls were seen in the West Midlands.
These relatively small falls can seem deceiving, however, according to some economists: ‘After Nationwide’s massive 2.5% m/m fall in house prices yesterday, the Land Registry figure may seem smaller than expected,’ said Brigid O’Leary from Capital Economics. ‘But there are two good reasons why we are not taking any comfort from today’s figure. First, Land Registry data are subject to frequent revisions (for example, March’s monthly figure was revised down from -0.4% to -0.8%). So a downward revision to April’s figure next month is certainly possible.
‘Second, as the Land Registry records completion prices it tends to lag other indices which measure house prices at earlier stages of the house buying process. In other words, larger falls in the Land Registry index lie in the pipeline.’