UK annual house price growth slows in March, says Nationwide
According to the Nationwide House Price Index, UK home prices fell 0.3 pct month-on-month in March. Home prices increased by 3,5 pct in March compared to the last year.Average home prices reached £207,308 in the UK.
Some convergence in regional price growth, with gap between weakest and strongest performing regions narrowest since 1978, stated in press release.
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said:
“The annual rate of house price growth slowed in March to 3.5%, from 4.5% in February. House prices fell by 0.3% in the month, after taking account of seasonal effects.
“There was a mixed picture across the UK in Q1. Six regions saw the pace of house price growth accelerate, six saw a deceleration and one (East Midlands) recorded the same rate as the previous quarter. Interestingly, the spread in the annual rate of change between the weakest and strongest performing regions was at its narrowest since 1978 at 6.8 percentage points – the second smallest gap on record.
“The South of England continued to see slightly stronger price growth than the North of England, but there was a further narrowing in the differential. Northern Ireland saw a slight pickup in annual house price growth, while conditions remained relatively subdued in Scotland and Wales.
The Outer South East was the strongest performing region in Q1 2017, with average prices up 6.4% year-on-year. The North continued to be the weakest performing region, with a slight decline in prices compared with Q1 2016.
Northern Ireland saw a pick-up in the rate of growth compared to the last quarter, with a 3.8% annual increase. Price growth in Scotland remained fairly steady at 2.9%, while Wales saw a slight softening in annual house price growth to 1.2%. It is interesting to note that the gap between the weakest and strongest regions (in terms of annual price change) is now at its narrowest since 1978, at 6.8 percentage points.
Average house prices in England increased by 1.4% in the first quarter of 2017 and were up 4.7% over the last 12 months.
The East Anglia and Outer Metropolitan regions saw a marked slowing in annual price growth compared with Q4. Overall, prices in Southern England (South West, Outer South East, Outer Metropolitan, London and East Anglia) were up 5.0% year-on-year, whilst in Northern England (West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, North West and North), prices rose by 3.8%.