House prices down 2.4 percent in April

LONDON Fri May 4, 2012 8:33am BST

Houses are reflected in a door knob on a street in London March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Houses are reflected in a door knob on a street in London March 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - House prices fell 2.4 percent in April, reversing a 2.2 percent gain in March, after the expiry of a tax-break for first-time homebuyers, mortgage lender Halifax said on Friday.

Overall, house prices were little changed on a year earlier, with prices in the three months to April 0.5 percent below their level the year before. This was the smallest annual fall in house prices since October 2010, Halifax said.

"Despite the slight improvement in the underlying trend in recent months, house prices continue to lack real direction with the current UK average price little different to where it was at the end of 2011," said Halifax economist Martin Ellis.

"We continue to expect little overall movement in prices as the UK economic situation remains challenging," he added.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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