House prices fall between February and March, but still higher than a year ago

Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed a 4.1% annual increase in the price of a home

August Graham
Wednesday 24 May 2023 10:09 BST
Nearly 90,000 homes were bought and sold in March (Yui Mok/PA
Nearly 90,000 homes were bought and sold in March (Yui Mok/PA (PA Wire)

The price of an average home in the UK rose 4.1% in the year to March, but fell compared to the month before, new figures showed on Wednesday.

Official data revealed that the average home was sold for £285,000 in March, £3,000 lower than just a month earlier, but £11,000 higher than the same month a year ago.

It is also £8,000 below the recent peak price in November last year, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.

The average price in England was £304,000, up 4.1% over the year. In Wales it was £214,000, up 4.8%, while prices rose 3% to £185,000 in Scotland and 5% to £172,000 in Northern Ireland.

In England, the highest annual increase was in the South West, up 5.4%, while London’s house prices only rose 1.5%.

The annual price increase is a considerable slowdown from July last year when the cost of a property had soared 14.4% in just 12 months.

The ONS said that there had been some 89,560 residential house purchases last month, nearly 19% lower than a year earlier, but up slightly by 1.3% from February.

“Rising interest rates and economic pressures have not stood in the way of many buyers or sellers’ ambitions as the housing market shows strong resilience and house prices rise in March,” said Emma Cox, managing director of real estate at Shawbrook Bank.

“Reports that the economic outlook isn’t as bleak as previously forecast has prompted a return in confidence and demand.

“And while buyers are likely to remain relatively cautious moving forwards, as mortgage rates remain high in line with rising interest rates, it’s encouraging to see these signs of optimism back in the market.

“The well-documented lack of supply within the rental market, could prompt professional landlords to snap up properties and expand their rental portfolios before any further price rises.

“This should help to provide an injection of quality stock, with demand currently being starved of good, available properties for renters.”

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