House prices suffered a 0.2% quarterly fall in the three months to May as the number of properties coming onto the market dropped for the 14th consecutive month in April.

Halifax’s most recent index revealed the value of the average home was 3.3% up on year on year for the second quarter of 2016 and cost £220,706 – 43% higher than the April 2009 low of £154,663.

The firm’s research also found there was a 3% drop in the number of sales made between March and April and a fall of 2% in mortgage approvals in the same period.

April was the 14th consecutive month to see a decrease in the number of properties on estate agencies’ books, with figures now close to historic lows.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: “After reaching a recent peak of 10% in March 2016, the annual house price growth has since fallen to 3.3% in May.

“House prices have again fallen over the past three months. Overall, prices in the three months to May were 0.2% lower than in the preceding three months; the same rate as in April.

“The fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, is likely to support house price levels over the coming months.”

The index did report some positive figures for house builders. The number of housing completions was 12% higher for the first quarter of 2017 than the last three months of 2016 although the number of homes finished by housing associations dipped 5% in the same period.

In total the number of completions was 57% above the low point of the first quarter in 2013 but still 18% below the peak in activity seen in the first three months of 2007.

Commenting on the figures founder and CEO Russell Quirk said: “Despite many predicting a second consecutive monthly drop in house price growth, the latest numbers by Halifax show prices have, in fact, crept up ever so slightly during May, notwithstanding a marginal fall in the last quarter.

“The unpredictability of recent house price trends demonstrates the turbulent landscape that both the UK property market, along with the wider economy, have had to traverse over the last year or so.”

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