House prices are now 0.9% lower than one year ago.
Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, says: “The price of a typical UK home fell by 1% in March, pushing the year-on-year rate of house price growth into negative territory for the first time in six months.
“A slowdown was to be expected, given the imminent expiry of the Stamp Duty holiday, which had provided a temporary boost to house prices in early 2012 as buyers brought forward purchases that would otherwise have taken place later in the year.
“This dampening effect on housing market activity and prices may fade over the course of the summer, especially if the wider economic outlook begins to improve and other policy measures, such as the Government’s NewBuy scheme are successful in supporting buyer demand.”
He predicts house prices will move sideways or become modestly lower over the next twelve months.