Double dip set to push house prices lower

 
Tim Wallace
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<a href="/house-prices">House prices</a> slowed to a crawl this month and will slump again through the second half of 2012, a new report warns today.

The double dip recession is dragging down demand and consumer confidence is draining out of the market, according to Hometrack, just as supply is starting to pick up.

Prices rose just 0.1 per cent in April, down from 0.2 per cent in March, the survey of estate agents found.

London remained the strongest region with prices rising 0.3 per cent, while the South East saw increases of 0.1 per cent and every other area saw stagnation or decline.

In previous months prices were driven by first-time buyers snapping up property before the end of the stamp duty holiday last month – but this demand seeped away through April after the tax break was scrapped.

Demand slowed sharply in April, with new buyer registrations up by 2.1 per cent, down from 4.4 per cent in the previous month and from a much bigger 25 per cent over the quarter.

“If April’s slowdown in demand and rising supply continues over the coming months, we will begin to see an impact on prices,” said Hometrack.