Average UK house price growth eased to 4.1% in the 12 months to March 2023, down from 5.8% in February 2023, according to the latest data released by ONS.
The latest data shows that average house prices in the UK stood at £285,000 in March 2023 - an £11,000 rise compared to 12 months ago, but £8,000 below the recent peak in November 2022. When seasonally adjusted, average UK house prices slipped by 0.9% in March 2023, following an increase of 0.4% in February 2023.
Average house prices increased over the 12 months to £304,000 (4.1%) in England, £214,000 in Wales (4.8%), £185,000 in Scotland (3.0%) and £172,000 in Northern Ireland (5.0%).
The South West saw the highest annual percentage change of all English regions in the 12 months to March 2023 (5.4%), while London saw the lowest (1.5%).
Nathan Emerson, Propertymark CEO, comments:
“In March we saw the total number of properties for sale edging back to pre-pandemic levels which was positively supported by an increase in market appraisals being undertaken.
“What we are now seeing is an interesting change in the property sales market as a fall in demand from buyers has allowed the number of homes available for sale to recover since the spike of activity seen during the pandemic. However, a steady level of transactions happening which is good news for the market and the wider economy.”
Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, Chris Hodgkinson, commented:
“While house prices have continued to cool on a monthly basis, they are still up annually and so any fears of a property market crash can now be put to bed.
"The market has weathered the quieter winter months and emerged from its seasonal slumber in what can be considered fine form, all things considered, with a seasonal uplift in activity expected over the coming months.
"There remains a degree of market turbulence and so buyers and sellers should continue to tread with a greater degree of caution, whilst also expecting longer transaction times and a heightened danger of fall throughs.
"However, for those who can successfully negotiate these potential potholes, property remains a very sound investment.”
Jean Jameson, Chief Sales Officer at Foxtons, said: “The London housing market appears to be facing a better 2023 than initially predicted as renewed confidence ignites demand from buyers and investors. Our local offices are seeing an increasing appetite for London homes, with 17% 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.”
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:
“Today’s figures further highlight the sluggish start to the year with respect to house price performance.
"However, things are certainly starting to improve and it will take some time before an uplift in market activity filters through to an increase in the rate of house price growth.
"With inflation easing and mortgage rates expected to fall, we should see even more buyers enticed back to the market as we approach what is traditionally the busiest time of year.
"As a result, we can expect the slower rate of house price growth seen so far this year to kick up a gear as demand once again starts to exceed the supply of suitable homes on the market.
"We expect to see the sleeping giant of the London market start to awaken as the year progresses, having lay largely dormant during much of the pandemic market boom. We’ve seen strong interest from both domestic and international buyers during the early stages of 2023 and as this interest converts into sales, a boost in market activity should start to drive the capital’s property values skyward.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: "This most comprehensive of all the housing market surveys confirm what we have seen elsewhere, even though these figures are a little dated.
"Prices are up a bit or down a bit with no significant changes expected over the next few months. Buyers and sellers are finally shrugging off the worst effects of last September’s mini-Budget, with the market in a better place than it was at the end of last year.
"Confidence is slowly returning, particularly as inflation is beginning to fall and expectations grow that interest rates are at or near their peak."