House prices have fallen for the first time in five months as the winding down of the stamp duty holiday eases a property-buying frenzy.
The average cost of a home in the UK dipped to £260,358 in June, according to lender Halifax, although this was still £21,000 higher than the same month last year thanks to months of surging prices.
Average prices fell by 0.5pc in June in the first monthly drop since January. Prices are 8.8pc higher than a year ago, down from May’s 9.6pc year-on-year rise, a 14-year high.
The dip in prices coincided with June’s end of the full stamp duty break, which had removed the tax on properties worth up to £500,000. The tax-free threshold fell to £250,000 this month and will revert to £125,000 in September.
Russell Galley, of Halifax, said: “With the stamp duty holiday now being phased out, it was predicted the market might start to lose some steam entering the latter half of the year.
Mr Galley said house price growth was likely to continue slowing towards the end of the year. “Unemployment is expected to edge higher as job support measures unwind, and the peak of buyer demand now likely to have passed,” he added.
Property website Zoopla predicted 53,500 buyers missed out on the full stamp duty savings last month. However, Anthony Codling, of property website Twindig, said one month of falling house prices had not “bucked the trend”.
“That trend, for now, is still up not down. For some, the easing of lockdown and the prospect of a summer holiday may take some heat out of the housing market, but others will be keen to move before the end of September and cathartically put Covid behind them,” he said.
House prices rose fastest in Wales last month, jumping 12pc on a year ago, while Northern Ireland, the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside and Scotland all recorded double-digit house price gains. The South of England lagged, with house prices up 7pc year-on-year.