Official figures showed on Wednesday that the price of the average house price rose 4.1% in the year to March then fell.
In March the average house sold for £285,000, £3,000 lower than a month earlier, however £11,000 higher compared to the same month in 2022.
Over the year the average house price in England was £304,000 up 4.1% over the past 12 months, in Scotland prices were up 3% to £185,000, and in Wales prices went to 4.8% to £214,000.
Co-founder and CEO of Wayhome, Nigel Purves, commented, “We saw a turbulent finish to 2022 and a subdued start to this year where house prices are concerned and this is further highlighted by the slower rate of house price growth seen in March.
These cooling market conditions will be welcomed by those struggling to get on the housing ladder, however, house prices still remain some 4.1% higher than they were last year and we are yet to see any inkling that a significant downturn is on the way.
This means that the financial hurdle of a mortgage deposit remains considerably high, not to mention the fact that buyers are also facing far higher borrowing costs.
While it’s expected that today’s reduction in the rate of inflation should help to stabilise the mortgage market, this minor improvement to the affordability of buying will do little to help those firmly priced out of the market to begin with.”
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.”
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented, “Having paused for breath following a marathon stretch of record house price growth during the pandemic, we’re now seeing a more measured performance from the housing market, but one we expect will be sustained over the course of the year.
For those buyers currently sitting on the fence, the market is poised to blossom over the spring months and so they are best advised to act sooner, rather than later, before stock levels are depleted.”
Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, Chris Hodgkinson, commented, “While house prices have continue 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.”
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