House Price Rise Begins to Slow
The latest house price indices from Halifax and nationwide suggest that although prices are still rising, the rate of ascent has slowed. The Halifax said that prices have risen 8.7% in the year to March, which is the highest inflation rate since October 2007. However, prices fell by 1.1% in March compared to the previous month. This was only the third monthly decline in fifteen months, putting the average house price at £178,249.
Nationwide’s figures showed that the month on month figure had risen by 0.4% in March 2014, with house prices being up by 9.5% over the last twelve months. Indeed, March was the bank’s fifteenth successive monthly cited increase. At an average value of £180,264 the bank put property value at only 3% lower than the 2007 market peak.
Both mortgage lenders said that the continuing general trend of increase was being driven by record low mortgage rates, improved availability of credit and a brighter economic outlook. Although both agreed that the growth in the market had slowed in recent months.
As is often the case with national figures, they are skewed upwards by the capital. Prices have risen by 18% year on year in London and are now double the national average. The gap between the property market in the capital and the rest of the country is bigger than it has ever been.
Sources: bbc.co.uk, lloydsbankingroup.com, nationwide.co.uk