UK house prices hit a new record high last month as they saw the biggest monthly rise since August last year, new figures show. The average price of a UK property rose by 1.5% in March compared to February to hit £228,000 – the highest figure on record.
Prices in the first three months of 2018 were down by 0.1% compared to the previous quarter – the second consecutive quarterly decline.
Price growth and activity levels in general had softened compared with a year ago.
The annual pace of growth accelerated to 2.8% from 1.85% in February – but is down from 3.8% in March last year.
House prices in the three months to March were largely unchanged compared with the previous quarter. The annual rate of growth continues to be in a narrow range of under 3%; though the average price of £228,000 is a new high. House sales stalled at the beginning of 2018 and mortgage approvals were down on last year, with activity remaining very subdued.
In the coming months it is expected that price growth will remain close to the expert’s prediction of 3% despite the very positive factors of continuing low mortgage rates, great affordability levels and a robust labour market. The continuing shortage of properties for sale will also support price growth.
In many respects, a report suggesting that house price growth is mainly unchanged represents a “no news is good news” result for the property market, as given the current challenges of low available stock levels, impending interest rate increases and ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
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