View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a597236
House prices see 'relatively little growth', says government
UK house prices rose 1.1% in April and are up 1.4% compared to the same period last year.
UK house prices increased by 1.1% in April, according to new government figures.
In the 12 months to April, however, there was 'relatively little growth' in house prices, the Office of National Statistics said.
Prices are up 1.4% compared to April last year, but this is down to a 1.7% rise in England offsetting declines of 8.1%, 0.3% and 1.1% in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the ONS explained.
The increase in England was driven primarily by a 4.9% rise in London. Prices were also up in the South East and South West, by 2.1% and 1.6% respectively. The largest decreases, meanwhile, were recorded in the North West and Yorkshire and Humber.
Prices of new homes rose by far more – some 5.1% – over the year compared to prices of pre-owned property, which increased just 1.1%.
First time buyers, meanwhile, paid an average of 1.5% more for a property in April 2012 than last year, compared to existing owners which paid 1.4% more.
ONS also revealed that the percentage of houses purchased by first time buyers fell from 43% in March to 32% in April following the expiry of the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers on properties worth up to £250,000.
Ashley Alexander, managing director of property website MeetMyAgent.co.uk, said the ONS figures merely confirm what we already know: 'that the housing market has been rather subdued over the past 12 months'.
'Property prices have stabilised due to low transaction volumes, a short supply of stock and weak demand,' he explained. 'However, if the London property market takes its foot off the pedal even for a second, the national picture will look far less rosy'.
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