The most recent House Price Index from the ONS shows that average property prices in the UK slipped by 0.6% between February and March 2017.
This data seems to indicate that the general slowdown in annual growth rate seen since mid-2016 is continuing.
The average UK house price currently stands at £216,000- £9,000 greater than in March 2016 and £1,000 less than in February 2017.
England saw the largest growth in UK house prices, with property values increasing by 4.4% over the course of the year to March 2017. In Scotland, values edged up by 0.7% to hit £137,000.
Regionally, the East of England and the East Midlands saw the highest annual rate of growth, with prices in both locations rising by 6.7% over the period. The lowest rate of annual growth was seen in the North East, where prices fell by 0.4%.
London saw the next slowest rate of growth, with prices increasing by 1.5%.
John Goodall, CEO and Co-Founder of Landbay observed: ‘While it may look as though house price growth is beginning to slow down, affordability remains a key concern for many aspiring homeowners struggling to get a foot on the ladder. Furthermore, rising inflation and recent warnings from the Bank of England that a year of falling wages lies ahead means we’re unlikely to see any immediate relief.’
‘Now more than ever, the private rented sector will be relied upon to support those unwilling or unable to buy a house outright. As the General Election draws closer, we hope to see some ironclad commitments on house building from policy makers. Encouraging institutional investment in large scale developments, specifically designed to rent rather than buy, will help to control house price growth while also improving living standards for those relying on a well-served buy-to-let market,’ he added.
‘Flat and Stagnant’
Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, noted: ‘Today’s figures show that UK house prices are continuing to slow, falling from 5.6% growth in February to 4.1% in March. This trajectory is no doubt reflective of the wider sentiment of the UK housing market, with the industry remaining flat and stagnant in the face of ongoing uncertainty.’
Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, highlights last year’s rush to beat the Stamp Duty deadine as a reason for the slowdown:
‘The housing market in March was bound to be quieter compared with a year ago because back then investors and second homeowners were rushing to purchase in order to beat the stamp duty hike at the beginning of April. This year there is no such impetus to focus the mind, with the market ticking along as usual.’
‘The impending general election is having little impact on the market, apart from the upper end where there may be people just waiting for the sake of three or four weeks before making a decision.’