House prices slow as market braces for a solid but ‘not spectacular’ year
House prices in the UK rose 4.1 per cent in the 12 months to March, adding £11,000 to the average value of a property.
However, the figures are down from February’s 5.8 per cent hike and £8,000 below the recent housing peak in November 2022, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports.
Across England, the South West saw the highest annual percentage change of all English regions in the 12 months to March 2023, up 5.4 per cent, but London saw the lowest, up just 1.5 per cent.
The average UK house price was £285,000 in March 2023. However figures from Rightmove show that in the capital the price tag is much higher usually ranging between £600,000 to 700,000.
The results come amid a confusing time for prospective house buyers, while inflation fell sharply to 8.7 per cent this morning and mortgage rate approvals are increasing, it’s still uncertain if these improvements are filtering down to the general market just yet.
This is especially true for first-time buyers, who continue to struggle to secure deposits for mortgages on homes.
Despite this, experts say that today’s forecast from the ONS reflects a solid but “not spectacular” year for the UK’s housing market, following on from the peak pandemic sales boom and subsequent mini budget crash.
“The impact of a recovering economy, strong jobs market and record levels of housing equity are kept in check by mortgage rates that are notably higher than 18 months ago,” Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said.
“If stubbornly high inflation keeps interest rates higher for longer, it will increase downwards pressure on prices, which we expect to fall by a few percent this year,” he added.
Moreover, touching on the outlook for London’s housing market, Jean Jameson, chief sales officer at Foxtons, said that the capital appears to be facing a better 2023 than “initially predicted”.
He said: “Our local offices are seeing an increasing appetite for London homes, with 17 per cent more viewings booked year on year in April.
“This could be due to innovative products, such as Skipton Building Society’s “no-deposit mortgage”, which has enticed buyers to explore their options; or the steadying of mortgage rates supporting greater price alignment between buyers and sellers.”