Average house price increases by 0.8% in March

The average house price increased by 0.8% in March, following a 1.2% rise in February, according to the latest Halifax house price index.

The annual rate of house price growth slowed to 1.6% after holding at 2.1% for the previous three months. The typical house price is now £287,880, around 2% below the peak reached last August.

The figures show that house prices rose in all UK nations and regions last month, though the annual rate of growth continued to slow in most areas

Kim Kinnaird, director at Halifax Mortgages, said: "Overall these latest figures continue to suggest relative stability in the housing market at the start of 2023 and align with many other recent industry surveys and data. This has been characterised by a partial recovery in activity and transactions, especially when compared to the significant drops seen at the end of last year, with latest Bank of England data showing mortgage approvals rising for the first time in six months.

“The principal factor behind this improved picture has been an easing of mortgage rates. The sudden spike in borrowing costs that we saw in November and December has now been largely reversed, and while rates remain much higher than the average of the last decade, across the industry a typical five-year fixed rate deal (75% LTV) is down by more than 100 basis points over the last few months.

“It’s also important to recognise that the labour market, a key indicator for house prices, remains strong, with unemployment at a historical low of 3.7%, and pay growth continues to look robust. Predicting exactly where house prices go next is more difficult. While the increased cost of living continues to put significant pressure on personal finances, the likely drop in energy prices – and inflation more generally – in the coming months should offer a little more headroom in household budgets. While the path for interest rates is uncertain, mortgage costs are unlikely to get significantly cheaper in the short-term and the performance of the housing market will continue to reflect these new norms of higher borrowing costs and lower demand. Therefore, we still expect to see a continued slowdown through this year.”

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