House prices in the UK fell 0.3% month-on-month in April, by the slowest pace in a year, a report by property consultants Hometrack said Monday. The report said the slower pace of decline in prices reflected a rise in optimism from estate agents due to increased levels of market activity. Year-on-year, house prices were down 10.1% in April.

During the month, sales volume grew 15%, while the number of potential buyers registering with estate agents rose 6%.

Homestrack, at the same time, indicated that the recent pick up in sales was largely seasonal and was unlikely to be sustained over the rest of the year.

The firm noted that the importance of the first time buyers driving the markets remained mostly underestimated. At present, the first time buyers remained outside the market mainly due to affordability issues and being unable to access mortgage finance.

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