Four-month fall in house prices

House prices have dipped further amid the “soft” market, recording declines in four months out of the last five, Nationwide has said.

The 0.2 per cent monthly drop in April follows a steeper 1 per cent fall recorded the previous month, meaning average UK house prices now stand at £164,134, the building society said.

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Prices remain 0.9 per cent lower than a year ago and the market was likely to remain “subdued” over the next 12 months as people stay cautious about the state of the economy.

The study suggested that the ending of a stamp duty concession for first-time buyers in March had temporarily boosted sales by people trying to beat the deadline

The recent return to a recession was likely to undermine “fragile” confidence even further.