UK house prices and mortgage lending stalled in April, according to new figures. But overall the prices have grown year on year and confidence is returning to the market after the election.
Average house prices increased by 5.5% in April from the same time last year, the Office for National Statistics said in its April House Price Index. This was down from comparable numbers in March which saw a 9.6% increase.
In January 2013 the average house price in the UK was £237,000 (€328,600, $369,000). By March this year that number hit £273,000.
The UK's Council of Mortgage Lenders, a coalition of banks and lenders — which represent some 95% of the £1.2tn worth of mortgage loans throughout the UK — said that monthly house purchase lending was down 10% on last year.
The group also noticed a drop in lending from first-time buyers in April's numbers. Gross lending in April 2015 was £15.8bn, down £16.8bn from the same month last year.
However, statistics for the coming months may be brighter. "Households in all UK regions perceive that property prices rose in May," said a report by Knight Frank issued 22 May following the UK general election.
"Activity is certainly picking up on the back of the election of a majority government and the certainty this has provided in the housing market," said Grainne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank. "Demand is rising," she added, "but an increasing number of vendors are putting their homes on the market, and this is set to create more balance in terms of pricing."
Some 6.4% of UK households, the report said, planned to buy a property in the next 12 months, down from 6.5% a year previously.