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House prices hold steady, Halifax finds

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British house prices remained steady during April, with the average house price unchanged according to the latest data on property values from mortgage lender Halifax.

This reflects the trend so far this year, as Halifax noted that there had been no overall movement in house prices since January.

Because of this, annual house price inflation is now at its lowest level in four years. However, house prices are still 7.8 per cent higher than they were a year ago.

Halifax also predicted the figure for house price inflation is set to fall further, but added that this does not mean there will be a collapse in home values .

Martin Ellis, Halifax chief economist, commented: The latest indicators also provide further evidence that activity levels are stabilising following a sharp downturn in the second half of last year.

As a result, we appear to be entering a period of broad stability, particularly in terms of market activity. Sound fundamentals, particularly in the shape of the ongoing strength of the labour market and the low level of interest rates, should continue to underpin the market.

While house prices have held firm for four months now, earnings have continued to rise, the lender said.

This will improve affordability for first-time buyers, enabling more to get a foot on the housing ladder . This too will help to support the market, Mr Ellis explained.

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