House prices rise 4% year-on-year in April!

House prices rose 4% in the 12 months to April, according to the latest house price index from Halifax. In April 2012, the average house price was £160,249, rising to £166,094 12 months later.

The average UK house price rose 1.3% in the three months to April, taking from £163,488 in the previous quarter to £166,094. This represents the fifth consecutive increase in house prices on this measure, according to the Halifax house price index for April.

Looking ahead, Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says economic conditions are likely to remain challenging for the remainder of the year.

He says: “House prices continue to pick up gradually. Prices in the three months to April 2013 were 1.3% higher than in the preceding three months, marking the fifth consecutive increase in house prices on this measure. The relatively low level of mortgage payments in relation to income continues to provide support for the market.

“Market activity, however, remains subdued by historical standards with the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – easing slightly in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest industry-wide figures.

“Weak income growth and continuing below-trend economic growth are likely to remain significant constraints on housing demand during the remainder of 2013.”