UK house prices grew at their slowest since 2015 last month, as buyers continued to be put off the market by high prices and low supply.
Nationwide's monthly house price index showed prices grew 3.5 per cent in March compared with last year, down from 4.5 per cent in February.
Between February and March, prices actually fell on a seasonally adjusted basis, dropping 0.3 per cent compared with February's 0.6 per cent growth. However, stripping out seasonal adjustments, the average house price hit £207,308, up from £205,846 in February.
However, the figures also also suggested house price growth was beginning to balance out across the UK.
"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," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.
"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 proportion of young adults owning their own home also crept up, to 38 per cent, although home ownership rates among those aged between 35 and 44 fell to 56 per cent, from 74 per cent in 2006.
"We can see from the figures that the growth has slowed, probably as a result of fewer homeowners choosing to move, reduced levels of demand and the beginning of market stagnation," said Andrew McPhillips, chief economist at the Yorkshire Building Society.
“The recent announcement of a June general election could potentially prolong this sluggishness by causing market uncertainty. While it’s unlikely to put off those who are halfway through a sale, it may cause those looking for properties or marketing their home to think twice.”