House movement stalls as stamp duty holiday ends

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors conducted a survey of estate agents and found the same results, that sales fell for the first time since September, in April. In 2006 between 130,000 and 150,000 houses were changing hands every month. The Office for National Statistics house price index has also found that the price of houses has fallen. The average price fell by 0.6 percent in March.

Despite this, first-time buyers are still paying 2.8 percent more for a property than in March last year. Many experts think that house prices will continue to drop throughout the year. Spokesman for the RICS, Peter Bolton King, said that the figures were ‘unsurprising’. And Howard Archer, chief UK economist from HIS Global Insight, said that the drop in prices would carry on this year.

The Nationwide and Halifax also said that prices dropped in April. One estate agent, Henry Pryor, said that sellers should be realistic with their prices because it has never been harder to sell a house. Buyers now know that the asking price of a home is not necessarily a good clue to the value so they are very wary when it comes to making an offer.

Of course, the economic situation here has not helped, with high unemployment and low earnings in many areas. The crisis in the Euro zone has not helped either because that can affect the UK economy and the housing market. This has affected lenders and led to higher lending rates and also led to much stiffer criteria to be met for getting a loan.

A lot of experts say that this is one of the biggest influences on the housing market. They say that because it is so hard to get a mortgage now, it is having an adverse effect. The number of mortgages actually approved was down in February and March, according to The Bank of England.