The average price of a property across England and Wales was at a new record last month, despite March seeing the smallest annual change in house prices since November 2013.
A house now costs on average of £275,123. This is a 5.6 per cent annual rise, equating to £14,620.
However, in London and the south east house prices fell by 0.9 per cent between January and February.
The price fall, caused by higher stamp duty and fears over housing taxation changes, was the second-largest of any region in England and Wales.
Property sales were up 11.6 per cent in March, from the month before – only half the level of growth that would typically be expected at this time of year. Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, said: “With homes on average worth £14,620 more than a year ago, it’s a far cry from anything worth lamenting from a bird’s eye view – even if people on the ground might feel somewhat differently.”
A tight General Election and likely hung parliament is also causing a drop in housing sales, as people wait until after they know the result, and any future property regulation and policies, such as Ed Miliband’s so-called mansion tax.
In the first three month of 2015, property sales were down five per cent year-on-year.
Gill said: “With the General Election tightening its tempo every week up until 7 May, cautious buyers are holding back to wait and see which way the chips fall.”