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Annual house price inflation at its lowest for four years

Average house prices across the UK in the three months to March were only 0.1 per cent higher than in the previous quarter - and the annual rate of growth dipped to 3.8 per cent, the lowest rate since May 2013. 

The figures come from the Halifax.

“The annual rate of house price growth has more than halved over the past 12 months. A lengthy period of rapid house price growth has made it increasingly difficult for many to purchase a home as income growth has failed to keep up, which appears to have curbed housing demand” says Martin Ellis, the Halifax’s housing economist. 

“Nonetheless, the supply of both new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low. This, together with historically very low mortgage rates, is likely to support house price levels over the coming months” he adds.

Last week, the Nationwide said that house prices had actually fallen in the last month.

Commenting on the Halifax data, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf said the figures suggested that house prices should still be rising more rapidly bearing in mind the low volume of transactions and shortage of stock. “In other words, it is not very good news” he warns.

“However, what we have found on the ground is that there is more of a general acceptance that prices are flattening and if people want to move, then Easter is the time to get on with it and be more realistic about making and accepting offers.”

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