House prices drop 3.1% year-on-year, e.surv finds

The average house price in England and Wales dropped by 3.1% year-on-year in March, e.surv has found.

In its latest monthly house price index, the firm revealed that the average house price in March stood at £361,368, an increase of 0.1% from February.

When excluding London and the South East, the annual house price across England and Wales dropped by 1.9%.

Director at e.surv, Richard Sexton, said: "Our analysis this month shows that the average sale price of completed home transactions using cash and mortgages rose by a minor £200 - or 0.1% - to £361,368, and is now at a level first seen in February 2022. It is also evident that the average price has hovered around the £361,000 mark for the last four months.

"While the movement is muted when we look at March’s performance, there are reports of a market in slow recovery. Certainly the balance of purchase against refinancing appears to be changing."

The analysis also revealed that no regions recorded an annual increase in house prices. The South East and East of England reported the biggest declines, standing 5.7% and 5.6% respectively, with average house price in these regions now standing at £451,828 and £392,095.

London also saw an annual drop in house prices of 4.9%, with the average price currently at £676,678.

However, in terms of monthly house price growth, the vast majority of regions did record an increase.

The North East saw the largest increase in monthly house prices, jumping by 1.6% between February and March to £196,851. House prices also increased by 0.8% month-on-month in the North West to £251,153.

Sexton added: "The modest turn in fortune is in large part a result of solid wage growth and a belief that interest rates will ease over the coming months, and this is underpinning growing confidence. The chronic undersupply continues to support prices but there are now more products available to buyers than there have been for some months.

"Ultimately affordability pressures are expected to ease but buyers cannot afford to throw caution to the wind.

"Looking forward, we saw little to no help for the housing market in March, but in advance of a possible winter General Election, we may see another 'fiscal' event that may give some further impetus to home buyers."

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