House prices tumbled by 3.1% between March and April. It was the largest monthly drop since September 2010.
The Halifax House Price Index revealed that average values fell on a monthly basis during April, after a 1.6% rise in March, to £220,962.
Annual growth also slowed from 2.7% to 2.2%.
Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “Housing demand has softened in the early months of 2018, with both mortgage approvals and completed home sales edging down. Housing supply – as measured by the stock of homes for sale and new instructions – is also still very low.
“However, the UK labour market is performing strongly with unemployment continuing to fall and wage growth finally picking up. These factors should help to ease pressure on household finances and as a result we expect annual price growth will remain in our forecast range of 0-3% this year.”
Commenting on the data, Lucy Pendleton, founder director of independent estate agents James Pendleton, said: “This sudden batting collapse in the monthly figures has knocked more than £7,000 off the price of the average home as the market continues to be starved of life.
“It’s true that monthly figures are more volatile but you mustn’t ignore the body of evidence that surrounds them either.
“We’ve now witnessed three consecutive falls in the quarterly figures, the amount of new consumer borrowing quite literally collapsed in March in an ominous sign of tightening purse strings, home sales are at a two-year low and the number of new instructions has fallen for the 25th month in a row.
“Whether or not this is a market being pulled in different directions remains to be seen. Short-term volatility can be ignored to a certain extent, but less so when it confirms what a great many other indicators are telling you.”
Sam Mitchell, CEO of House Simple, said: “As swings in monthly figures go, this is worthy of an election night special.
“The market is listless and needs a spark, but it’s hard to see where that spark will come from.
“New instructions and transaction levels are bumping along the bottom.”