Your Move has reported that house prices in England and Wales remained subdued in April, rising just 0.1% for the second month in succession.
Despite record low interest rates and high employment levels, prices have increased just 0.5% in the last quarter. The average house in England and Wales is now worth £301,606.
Nevertheless, annual price increases remain steady, rising slightly to 3.5%. Estimated transactions of 63,500, while down 7% on March, remain in line with levels seen in 2015.
The West Midlands has cemented its position as the fastest growing region, surpassing the East of England, with prices up 0.5% monthly and 6.2% annually.
House price growth in London remains subdued with a monthly decrease of -0.1%. Annually, the capital is the slowest region outside the North East and sits in penultimate place in terms of annual change with just a 1.4% increase.
The General Election call in April had little effect on monthly figures, with decisions to buy and sell taken well before. The outcome, though, may affect the market further down the line, Your Move said.
Such a knock-on impact was certainly seen following the Stamp Duty increases of 2015. Annual prices in England and Wales are now higher excluding the South East and London than including them, as transaction levels were lifted among lower priced properties and regions, where effective tax rates were reduced, and depressed at higher prices, where they fell.
That trend is reinforced by a market currently driven by first time buyers, who are likely to look to cheaper property, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Existing owners, meanwhile, are increasingly choosing to remortgage and stay put.
Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said: “Real transformation is needed to address the housing supply shortage. Recent reports from House of Commons committees have made a strong case for the government to do more.
“As manifestos are published ahead of the upcoming election, we hope there is commitment to bridging the gap between supply and demand which will stimulate more market activity, stability and enable more people to secure their dream home.”