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House Prices Fall 2.4% In April After March Rise

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Prices dropped 2.4% in April, a huge drop from the 2.2% rise in March
Prices dropped 2.4% in April, a huge drop from the 2.2% rise in March

House prices continued to "fluctuate quite widely" last month, mortgage lender Halifax said on Friday, as the average price dropped 2.4%.

The decrease in the average house price, to £159,883, follows an increase of 2.2% in March and leaves the three-month measure 0.3% higher, Halifax said.

The rise in the three-month indicator was the first increase on this measure since September, following six successive falls, Halifax said.

The ending of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers in late March appears to have boosted home sales early this year as buyers strove to beat the deadline, and has probably contributed to the volatility in house prices, Halifax added.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, expects house prices to fall by a further 3% by the end of 2012.

Bank of England figures showed earlier in the week that the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase rose by 1.5% in March but remained firmly below the previous six-month average.

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