House prices dip as annual growth slows to weakest level since 2013

House prices dip as annual growth slows to weakest level since 2013

House prices dipped by 0.6% month-on-month in March while annual growth in property values slowed to its weakest level since 2013, according to official figures.

The typical UK property value was £216,000 in March, marking a 0.6% fall compared with February, according to the report released jointly by the Office for National Statistics, the Land Registry and other bodies.

Some experts pointed to signs of a "Brexit-related" slowdown, while others said house prices simply could not continue rising at some of the high levels seen in recent years.

There are also signs of a shift in the regions which are now driving house price growth, away from London.

The pace of house price growth continued to slow down on an annual basis, with a 4.1% increase in March, following a 5.6% rise in February. This marked the weakest annual growth rate since October 2013.

The price paid for a typical first-time buyer home also decreased month-on-month, by 0.4%. First-time buyers now pay around £182,407 on average, which is still 4.4% higher than a year ago.

In England, house prices have increased by 4.4% over the 12 months to March 2017, with the average price in England now at £233,000.

Within England, the lowest annual house price growth was in the North East, where prices decreased by 0.4% over the year, followed by London, where prices increased by 1.5%.

The East of England and the East Midlands showed the highest annual growth in England, with prices lifting by 6.7% over the year to March.

Richard Snook, a senior economist at PwC, said: "In a reversal of the normal regional pattern, the south of England showed some of the softest growth with price inflation of 2.8% in the South West, 3.8% in the South East and just 1.5% in London. This is the weakest figure for London since March 2012.

"These figures are consistent with the Brexit-related slowdown that we anticipated last year and our guidance of 2% to 5% growth this year."

Wales saw house prices increase by 4.3% over the previous 12 months to stand at £148,000.

In Scotland, the average price increased by 0.7% over the year to reach £137,000.

The average price in Northern Ireland stands at £124,000, having increased by 4.3% over the year.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said the housing market in March was "bound to be quieter compared with a year ago", as last spring saw a rush of buy-to-let investors trying to beat a stamp duty hike imposed in April 2016.

Sarah Beeny, owner of estate agent Tepilo, said: "The slowdown in house price growth we are seeing is simply due to the fact that house prices cannot continue rising at the rates we have seen over the past few years.

"If the large rises we've experienced in recent years continued, the average house price would be almost double what it is now in 10 years' time, and that's just not realistic."

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Most viewed property of the year
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Most viewed property of the year
This unassuming three-bedroom detached house in Martins Heron in Berkshire doesn’t immediately look like the kind of property to draw the crowds. However, the fact it was used as Harry Potter’s home in the first of the films means we were intrigued to see inside this £475,000 property that was ideal for commuting.
This was an impressive seven-bedroom home in Upper Denby, on the market for £1.3 million - with plenty of rustic charm and a wood-burning stove. However, we all know the real reason this made it to the list of the most-viewed properties: it’s the enormous play area complete with pirate ship that you can just catch sight of through the lounge window.
This five bedroom relatively newly-built mansion has every whistle and bell you could wish for - from a cinema and games room to a gym, swimming pool, and a dining room that’s big enough for a grand piano in the corner. It’s still on the market for £1.05 million, and is right next to Lincoln Golf course if you fancy playing a round.
Unsurprisingly, this development project on Chadwick Road in East London has been snapped up. At just £1 million you got 13 rooms over four floors - with off-street parking for three cars. No wonder it was the seventh most popular home for us to look at, and dream that with a bit of elbow grease we could have a huge London property... and we could finally park somewhere near it too.

This is a home that comes with a dream lifestyle. For just £1.4 million, you can get an incredibly swanky five-bedroom farmhouse in seven acres of lovely Welsh countryside. You also get a two-bedroom barn conversion - either to house visiting family, or to run as a holiday letting business. The house is still in the market - so that dream could still be yours.

Ever fancy your own posh lakeside hideaway with its own jetty just over an hour from London - for just £2.8 million?

Quite a few people did, judging by the fact that this new development in Cirencester was the 5th most viewed house of the year.

For just £545,000, this 6-bedroom house in Donaghadee could be yours. The property itself is very recently developed in an elegantly rustic New England style. There's plenty of room, and a dream bathroom. But possibly the reason it features so high up the list of most-viewed houses is that it comes with a paddock and stable - perfect for anyone with horsey aspirations.
It’s easy to see why this pretty £375,000 cottage is in such high demand. First is the fact it has been rebuilt from reclaimed stone, so combines old world charm with handy modern features (like a good-sized kitchen and fancy bathroom). Then there’s the location - right in the centre of the village of Holmfirth - best-known as the setting of Last of the Summer Wine.

This impressive house in Bromley in Kent has footballer written all over it. From the pale grey colour scheme, to the acres of space, and the enormous patio for entertaining, there's plenty for a footballer to love. At just £1.7 million it’s pocket-change for them too. For the rest of us, there’s the chance to dream of a mansion within commuting distance of London for the price of a flat in Notting Hill.

There was a time when a semi-detached five-bedroom home in Hampstead Garden Suburb was the sort of thing that ordinary families could aspire to. Now it's the kind of thing we spend our time daydreaming over on property websites: marveling at a 90 foot garden and the fact it has a garage. The price tag of £2.25 million means it's the kind of house we can only ever afford to look at online - which is probably why it's the most viewed property of the year.
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