house prices

House prices fell 1.6% in March according to the latest figures from Halifax.

The high street lender said that the value of the average UK home rose to £233,181 last month. 

Despite the fall, overall house prices grew by 2.6% in the three months to March compared with the same period a year ago.

This proved ahead of analyst expectations of 2.3%.

Ultimately, prices were dragged down by weak consumer confidence amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty as well as low mortgage approval rates.

Russell Galley, a managing director at Halifax, commented on the latest house prices index:

“The average UK house price is now £233,181 following a 1.6% monthly fall in March. This reduction partly corrects the significant growth seen last month and again demonstrates the risk in focusing too heavily on short-term, volatile measures. Industry-wide figures show that the number of mortgages being approved remains around 40% below pre- financial crisis levels, and we know that lower levels of activity can lead to bigger price movements.

“The more stable measure of annual house price growth rose slightly to 3.2% and is still within our expectation for the year. The need to build up a deposit before getting a mortgage is still a challenge for many looking to buy a property. However, the combined effect of fewer houses for sale and fewer people looking to buy continues to support prices in the long-term.

“These conflicting challenges, when combined with the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit, have had an impact across the country but most notably in London, meaning that we continue to expect subdued price growth for the time being.”