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Annual house price inflation eases to 9.8%

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Property prices are still rising, but the pace of growth has slowed
Annual house price inflation eases to 9.8%

UK average house prices increased by 9.8% over the year to March 2022, down from 11.3% in February 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The UK House Price Index noted that the average property price was £278,000 in March 2022, £24,000 higher than this time last year.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £298,000 (9.9%), in Wales to £206,000 (11.7%), in Scotland to £181,000 (8.0%) and in Northern Ireland to £165,000 (10.4%).

London continues to be the region with the lowest annual growth at 4.8%, but the highest prices, at £524,000. Prices in the East Midlands saw the highest annual growth at 12.4%.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Average annual price rises have bounced in and out of double digits for almost a year now, so a single monthly drop isn’t the canary in the coalmine. It’s not the first monthly pause in the relentless rise of average prices either.

“There are still plenty of signs of strength in the market that have come through since March, with sales remaining brisk, mortgage approvals running above pre-pandemic levels, and the number of buyers still growing – and continuing to dramatically outnumber sellers.

“However, it’s only a matter of time before we see house prices slow on a more sustained basis.”

Emma Cox, managing director of real estate at Shawbrook, added: “A slowdown could be on the cards for the property market with inflation close to hitting double figures in April. With concerns over rising costs impacting consumer confidence, it’s likely that many will pause their property plans. However, for now the property market remains in good stead, despite recent economic outlooks.

“Demand continues to be high, outweighing supply in the market, leading to competitive bidding wars that are pushing prices up further. More quality supply is clearly needed in the market, but with the cost of material and labour on the rise, new properties are likely to continue to edge prices further up.”

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