Mix-adjusted prices fell by 0.8 per cent between March and April 2005, compared with the 4.5 per cent rise seen over the same period in 2004. There are always rises in house prices at Easter and with Easter earlier this year the inflation rate for March contained two Easter effects.
The fall in UK prices between March and April can be largely attributed to a fall in the price of detached houses. Prices for detached houses fell by 3.5 per cent and for flats by 0.4 per cent, with slight increases for other dwelling types.
All the home countries saw a fall in annual inflation in April. The inflation rate in England fell from 12.0 per cent in March to 6.0 per cent in April. Over the same period, in Wales the rate fell from 22.0 per cent to 15.9 per cent; in Scotland the rate fell from 16.1 per cent to 14.3 per cent; and in Northern Ireland the fall was from 15.8 per cent to 10.7 per cent.
House price inflation fell in all regions between March and April. The highest inflation rates in England remain in the north, in North West (12.9 per cent), North East (11.9 per cent). Inflation rates in Yorkshire & the Humber and West Midlands are at around 10 per cent. Inflation in East Midlands and the South West fell to 7.9 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively. Inflation was below 4 per cent in the East and South East and lowest in the London, where inflation fell from 9.8 per cent in March to 2.7 per cent in April - due to a fall of 1.4 per cent in prices between March and April this year compared with a rise of 5.5 per cent over the same period last year.
Mix-adjusted average house prices in April were £191,081 in England, £143,537 in Wales, £122,407 in Scotland and £123,313 in Northern Ireland.
The English region with the highest average house price in April was London at £263,525. The lowest average price was in the North East at £128,053.
Only the East, London, South East and the South West had average prices above the UK average.
The UK house price inflation rate for first time buyers fell from 18.3 per cent in March to 9.8 per cent in April. This was due to a rise of only 0.5 per cent in prices between March and April in the properties bought by first time buyers, compared with a rise of 8.2 per cent seen over the same period last year.
The inflation rate for former owner occupiers fell from 10.5 per cent in March to 5.8 per cent in April. This was due to a fall of 1.3 per cent in prices between March and April in the properties bought by former owner occupiers, compared with a rise of 3.1 per cent over the same period last year.
The average price paid by first time buyers across the whole of the UK was £150,133 in April, while the average price paid by former owner occupiers was £196,181.