Housing market recovery 'is stalling'

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The Independent Online

Britain's housing-market recovery is in danger of grinding to a halt, a leading property analyst warns today, despite recent reports that prices have continued to rise strongly in recent weeks.

The analyst Hometrack says that while there was a 0.2 per cent increase across the UK during April, the headline data was skewed by the London market where prices were up by 0.6 per cent last month. No other region posted an increase above the national average.

The analyst adds that crucial indicators are pointing to a slowdown. Crucially, the supply of homes for sale is now increasing almost four times faster than demand. The number of sales agreed in April was up by only 6.3 per cent, compared with 13 per cent in March, and for the second month running, the average seller got 94 per cent of his asking price last month, the first time in more than a year that this figure did not rise.

Richard Donnell, the director of research at Hometrack, said the data provided "further evidence of a housing market on the turn", with nervousness in the sector exacerbated by the election. "The fundamental issues that have plagued the economy for some time remain," he said.