On a monthly basis, the average price of a house in the UK dropped by 0.6 per cent. Quarterly, house prices increased by 0.7 per cent.
This month’s data is based on “significantly lower” volumes of mortgage transactions than average, Halifax said. This has been evidenced by recent figures released by the Bank of England which showed mortgage approvals had dropped by a fifth in March, the lowest level in five years.
Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “With market activity currently almost at a complete standstill, the limited number of transactions available means that calculating average house prices has inevitably become more challenging.
“This will lead to a great deal of volatility until more data becomes available.”
The Office for National Statistics recently followed Reallymoving in announcing it would temporarily suspend the release of house price data but Mortgage Solutions understands Halifax will continue to produce its index as long as it feels the data represents the market.
Galley hinted that although the housing market would see some impact due to the pandemic, there were possible signs of recovery in the future.
“More immediately, we are likely to see some considerable movement in activity levels as buyers and sellers seek to kick-start previously agreed transactions which are likely to have stalled or been delayed,” he said.
“The future remains uncertain and based on our current forecasting we expect short–term headwinds to house prices, although we maintain our underlying confidence in the health of the housing market in the longer term.”