UK house prices increased 0.4% in March compared to the previous month— higher than expected as house price growth continues to slow, according to a survey by Halifax. Economists had previously forecast a marginal 0.1% growth.
Prices in the three months to March were 8.1 percent higher than they were a year earlier, compared to a 8.3% growth in the quarter to Feburary, and below the peak of 10.2% growth experienced in July 2014.
“The recent return to real earnings growth for the first time in several years, very low mortgage rates and last December’s stamp duty changes are supporting housing demand. The rising level of house prices in relation to earnings should, however, curb house price growth and activity,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.
The average UK house price is now £192,970 compared to £179,028 in March 2014, says Halifax.
“The annual rate of house price growth, which has continued to ease in the first quarter of 2015, is forecast to end the year at 3- 5%,” said Ellis.