UK house prices fell for the third month in a row in May, figures published today showed: the first time prices have fallen continuously during an entire quarter since 2009.
The figures, published by Nationwide, showed prices fell 0.2 per cent in May. The fall was smaller than April's 0.4 per cent dip, but the annual rise in house prices fell to 2.1 per cent in May, down from 2.6 per cent in April, and its weakest in four years.
On a quarterly basis, prices fell 0.2 per cent, although the average price edged up to £208,711, up from £207,699 in April.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said the figures hinted the market is losing momentum.
However, he added: “While real incomes are again coming under pressure as inflation has overtaken wage growth, the number of people in work has continued to rise at a healthy pace. Indeed, the unemployment rate fell to a 42-year low in the three months to March."
However, today Gardner suggested that is unlikely.
“If history is any guide, the slowdown is unlikely to be linked to election-related uncertainty. Housing market trends have not traditionally been impacted around the time of general elections.
"Rightly or wrongly, for most home buyers, elections are not foremost in their minds while buying or selling their home."