House prices rise 2.2% in March, says Halifax index

Halifax&#39s latest house price index shows house prices increased by 2.2% in March, taking UK house prices through the £150,000 barrier with an average price of £151,467.

The average price in Yorkshire and the Humber breached the £100,000 mark during the first quarter, making it the last English region to do so. Halifax says average prices remain below this level in only Scotland at £85,212 and Northern Ireland at £93,692.

The index also reveals the North/South divide has narrowed with the gap between the average price in Greater London and the North falling by almost £10,000 over the past year from £135,901 in the first quarter of 2001 to £125,981 in the same period this year.

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, says: “The house price rise in March is broadly in line with the average increase during the previous three months, as strong demand and tight supply conditions continue to drive house prices up.

“Regionally, the North still leads the way with the biggest price rises experienced in northern England and Wales in the first quarter. Prices are rising in the South, but have done so at a much more modest pace over the past year.”