UK house prices fell by 0.5% month-on-month in October
House prices dipped by 0.5% month-on-month in October according to official figures, as experts suggested Brexit uncertainty may be having an impact on the market.
The average UK house price was £224,000 in October, marking a 4.5% annual increase.
In September, the annual growth rate had been higher, at 4.8%, a report published jointly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Land Registry and other bodies said.
Commenting on the figures, Richard Snook, a senior economist at PwC, said a stamp duty cut for first-time buyers announced in the recent Budget "is likely to provide a small boost to the market in 2018 but today's data suggest that uncertainty linked to Brexit may be leading to a wider market slowdown".
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, said: "Housing market activity is currently muted and faltering."
But Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: "Despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit negotiations, many people have got on with buying and selling property regardless.
"Borrowers have also been able to benefit from some of the cheapest fixed-rate mortgages ever seen, and as we move into 2018, we expect to see more of the same."
In England, house prices increased by 4.7% in the year to October, pushing the average price there to £241,000, the official figures show.
Wales saw house prices increase by 4.5% over the previous 12 months to stand at £153,000.
In Scotland, the average price increased by 2.8% over the year to stand at £144,000.
The average price in Northern Ireland stood at £132,000, marking a 6% rise over the year.
Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the figures show house prices were falling on a monthly basis even before the Bank of England base rate was increased to 0.5% in November, pushing up costs for some mortgage borrowers.
He said: "The impact on prices from the recent increase in mortgage rates won't emerge in the official data for some time, but we know from several surveys that market conditions have worsened recently."
Looking across the regions, the East Midlands showed the highest annual house price growth, with prices increasing by 7%, followed by the South West at 6.7% and the East of England at 6.1%.
At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest annual growth was in London, where prices increased by 2.1% over the year, followed by the North East at 2.4%.
London continues to be the region with the highest average house price at £481,000, followed by the South East and the East of England, at £322,000 and £289,000 respectively.
The lowest average price continues to be in the North East at £127,000.
The local authority showing the largest annual house price growth in the year to October 2017 was Swale in Kent, where prices increased by 15.5% to stand at £255,000.
The lowest annual growth was recorded in Hartlepool, where prices fell by 6.1% to reach £99,000.
The figures also show a first-time buyer in Britain faces paying 4.2% more for a home than they did a year ago, with average prices in this sector at £188,173 in October.