Business

House prices continue to rise – but at a slower rate

The average house price continued to rise in March – but at a slower rate than the previous month, according to a closely-watched index.

The Halifax House Price Index shows that average prices rose by 0.8% in March – following a 1.2% rise in February, with the typical UK property now costing £287,880.

The annual rate of house price growth slowed to 1.6%, compared to the 2.1% seen in the past three months.

Kim Kinnaird, director of Halifax Mortgages, said the figures “continue to suggest relative stability in the housing market”.

“Predicting exactly where house prices go next is more difficult.

“While the increased cost of living continues to put significant pressure on personal finances, the likely drop in energy prices – and inflation more generally – in the coming months should offer a little more headroom in household budgets.

“While the path for interest rates is uncertain, mortgage costs are unlikely to get significantly cheaper in the short-term and the performance of the housing market will continue to reflect these new norms of higher borrowing costs and lower demand. Therefore, we still expect to see a continued slowdown through this year.”

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Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, the UK professional body for estate agents, said: “Estate agents are seeing a very steady picture.

“While winter saw a slight decline in activity and therefore prices, spring brought new activity. This trend is normal as the market flows with seasonal changes in buyer behaviour.

“We have plenty of homes coming to the market which shows sellers are confident and that’s the key.

“Prices have adjusted to rising interest rates curbing affordability, but as we head into April and May, prices may pick up as more buyers will be on the move.”

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