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March house price growth lowest since 2011: Rightmove

Data from Rightmove shows that, on a monthly basis, house prices grew by 0.4 per cent – the lowest monthly rise in March since 2011, according to the report.

In the year to March 2019, meanwhile, house prices fell by 0.8 per cent.

Rightmove adds that the average asking price for a property in the UK is now £302,002.

Despite the relatively lower growth recorded, the figures show that house prices within all regions, expect Greater London and the North East, which recorded falls of 1.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively, rose month-on-month. Scotland led the way at 3.1 per cent, followed by the North West of England at 2.2 per cent.

On a yearly basis, Wales recorded the largest rise, at 3.8 per cent, followed by the North West and Yorkshire and Humber, which both posted an increase of 3.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, on an annual basis, Greater London saw property prices fall by 3.8 per cent, and the South East recorded a 1.5 per cent decline.

Rightmove adds that the number of sales agreed by estate agents in February fell 7 per cent year-on-year, compared with the 4 per cent annual fall seen in January.

Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside comments: “While March marks the start of spring, temperatures have yet to rise in the housing market. Buying activity remains cooler than usual, with hesitation as some buyers await a more settled political climate.

“There is greater resilience the further away you get from the London market, and there is a sound bedrock of demand for the right property at the right price, reinforced by ongoing housing needs combined with cheap mortgage borrowing.”

“London and some of its commuter belt are suffering from a post-boom hangover, with prices now having to be far more sober to attract buyer interest.

“In contrast, North East prices never had the opportunity to become intoxicated by the capital city’s heady mix of high demand, low interest rates and higher salaries.”

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy adds: “[This] highlights what we have been seeing on the ground for some time, which is that whilst the market in London and the South East remains subdued, in other regions of the UK the momentum continues with buyers transacting in reasonable numbers despite the current political and economic climate.

“Movers are supported in no small part by some of the most competitive mortgage rates we have seen for some time.

“The fact that Rightmove has reported their traffic levels have remained steady over the past month entirely is not surprising; we would suggest that the pent-up demand in many areas, probably due as much to a lack of available homes for sale restricting choice as hesitancy due to the lack of clarity around Brexit, is likely to mean that those buyers who have held off moving are now deciding to take the plunge.”


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