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House prices see largest annual fall in 14 years

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

UK property prices have now dropped for seven months in a row

House prices are down 3.1% year-on-year in March, said Nationwide, the largest annual decline since July 2009.

This took the average UK house price to £257,122, a 0.8% fall compared to February and the seventh consecutive monthly drop.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “The housing market reached a turning point last year as a result of the financial market turbulence which followed the mini-Budget.

“Since then, activity has remained subdued – the number of mortgages approved for house purchase remained weak at 43,500 cases in February, almost 40% below the level prevailing a year ago.”

Nations and regions

The building society said that all regions saw a slowing in price growth in the first three months of 2023, with most (nine out of 13) seeing small year-on-year falls too.

Scotland was the weakest performing region with prices down 3.1% compared with a year ago.

East Anglia saw a significant slowdown, with prices falling 1.8% year-on-year, making it the weakest performing English region.

The West Midlands was the strongest performing region, with prices up 1.4% compared with a year ago.

Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders, said: “After seven straight months of falling house prices, the market is pushing deeper into correction territory – with average prices now 4.6% down on last August’s peak.

“While the direction of travel is unmistakeable, price falls in many areas have been gradual rather than dramatic, especially when compared to the dizzying and unsustainable surge in prices seen during the post-pandemic boom.

“Above all, this is has become a buyer’s market. With the number of sales well down on what it should be for this time of year, sellers and their estate agents are chasing buyers – and proceedable buyers who have their finances in place hold all the cards.”