February registered a fall in house prices for the UK for the first time in six months, which could indicate that there will be difficult times ahead for sellers in the short term.
There was a 0.3% month-on-month decline in prices, with January's average sale price falling from £211,756 to £210,402 in February, the first decline since August 2017 according to Nationwide's property index.
The decline however, is explained by the fact that a low level of supply in January forced buyers to compete for less properties than usual, holding prices up. According to Nationwide, the decline is "consistent with signs of softening in the household sector in recent months" and the growth in annual house prices has slowed to 2.2%.
According to Mr Gardner of Nationwide, brexit and wider economic factors will have the most impact on the outlook for the property market this year:
"We continue to expect the UK economy to grow at modest pace, with annual growth of 1% to 1.5% in 2018 and 2019. Subdued economic activity and the ongoing squeeze on household budgets is likely to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth,".
Jeremy Leaf, former RICS residential chairman and estate agent indicates that Nationwide's figures could be cause for concern as February is generally a period of the year in which prices are rising rather than falling.
In London, average house prices fell 0.5% in 2017, when compared with 2016, making it the least attractive region for sellers for the first time since 2004.
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Unexpected fall in house prices suggests 'tough' time ahead