House price growth has risen to its highest since October

 
Emma Haslett
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Home Ownership Falls To Its Lowest Level In 30 Years
UK house price growth has been slow since April last year (Source: Getty)

UK house prices rose by their most in six months in April, according to official figures published today, although growth continued to be subdued.

Figures published by the Land Registry showed prices rose 5.6 per cent between April 2016 and April 2017, up from 4.5 per cent in the year to March.

The average house price hit £220,000, up £12,000 from the same month last year, and £3,000 higher than March.

The news will come as a relief to those looking to sell their properties, who have been faced with falling growth in recent months: last week figures by Halifax showed UK house prices had fallen in the three months to May.

Read more: What the General Election results mean for house prices

Stamp duty bombshell

The year-on-year price rise came as transaction numbers shot up more than 20 per cent, thanks to a punishing stamp duty rise slapped on buy-to-let homes at the beginning of April last year, which pushed transactions up in March 2016 but caused them to dwindle in April.

Compared with March 2017, April's figure was less encouraging, with prices inching up just 1.6 per cent, while transaction volumes fell 3.2 per cent.

"Both buyer and seller demand dwindled, no doubt a knee-jerk reaction to the news of a snap election," pointed out Russell Quirk, chief executive of online estate agent Emoov.

"Although the events of the last year, particularly the changing political landscape, do not seem to have had a long-lasting detrimental impact on the UK property market, they have certainly stunted the rate of price growth.

"Many UK homeowners and buyers for that matter would have been waiting for the election outcome to provide an air of stability in which to conduct their transaction. The reality, for the immediate future at least, will not provide that and it is likely that the unpredictable swings in house price growth seen over the last few months will now persist for a while longer.”

Read more: Revealed: London areas where house prices have risen and fallen the most

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