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House prices fell by 0.2% in March

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The small reduction in prices pulled back annual house price growth to 5.7%
House prices fell by 0.2% in March

Prices fell by 0.2% month-on-month in March to an average £232,134, according to Nationwide, following a 0.7% rise in February.

The building society said that annual house price growth slowed to 5.7% in March, from 6.9% in February.

On an quarterly basis Northern Ireland saw the highest growth of the home nations, with a 7.4% increase. Wales and Scotland both saw an acceleration in annual price growth to 7.2% and 6.9% respectively.

England was the weakest performing home nation in the three months to March 2021, with annual house price growth of 6.4%.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Given that the wider economy and the labour market has performed better than expected in recent months, the slowdown in March probably reflects a softening of demand ahead of the original end of the stamp duty holiday before the Chancellor announced the extension in the Budget.

“Recent signs of economic resilience and the stimulus measures announced in the Budget, including the extension of the furlough scheme and the stamp duty holiday, as well as the introduction of a mortgage guarantee scheme, suggest that housing market activity is likely to remain buoyant over the next six months.”

Regional split

The North West was the strongest performing region, with prices up 8.2% year-on-year and average prices reaching a record high of £181,999.

London was the weakest performing region, with annual price growth softening to 4.8%, from 6.2% in Q4 last year.

Below are the average house prices for each region with the annual change for Q1 in brackets:

North West – £181,999 (8.2%)

West Midlands – £208,806 (7.6%)

Northern Ireland – £154,012 (7.4%)

South West – £263,033 (7.2%)

North – £138,348 (7.2%)

Wales – £174,777 (7.2%)

Outer South East – £298,804 (7.2%)

Yorkshire & Humberside – £175,577 (7.0%)

Scotland – £159,221 (6.9%)

East Anglia – £242,789 (6.1%)

East Midlands – £200,307 (6.0%)

Outer Met – £379,058 (5.6%)

London – £482,576 (4.8%)

UK – £231,644 (6.3%).

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