View more on these topics

UK house prices fell 1% in March

The price of a typical UK house declined by 1% in March to reach £163,327, the latest house price index from Nationwide shows.

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.

Recommended

MS Leader: Budget that’s not for housing

Chancellor George Osborne’s third Budget was lambasted in the mainstream press last week, with accusations of granny bashing quickly eroding the chancellor’s claims that it promoted a fairer and more efficient tax system.

Look to niche areas for ongoing growth

The avalanche of lenders changing their interest-only policies over the past few weeks is likely to cause a ripple effect among small lenders that will find themselves swamped with applications.