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Nationwide: UK house prices fell by 1% in March

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said:

"The price of a typical UK home fell by 1% in March, pushing the year on year rate of house price growth into negative territory for the first time in six months. House prices were 0.9% lower than March 2011.

"A slowdown was to be expected, given the imminent expiry of the stamp duty holiday, which had provided a temporary boost to house prices in early 2012 as buyers brought forward purchases that would otherwise have taken place later in the year1.

"This dampening effect on housing market activity and prices may fade over the course of the summer, especially if the wider economic outlook begins to improve and other policy measures, such as the Government’s NewBuy scheme are successful in supporting buyer demand.

"However, in our view the challenging economic backdrop is likely to continue to act as a drag, with house prices moving sideways or modestly lower over the next twelve months."

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0 thoughts on “Nationwide: UK house prices fell by 1% in March

  1. David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services says:

    This month’s Nationwide figures show the scale of the impact the Stamp Duty hike. While the BSA has reported year on year growth of mortgage lending in February, the March figures from Nationwide show price falling on the year and a sharp drop in prices from February. As the Stamp Duty holiday ended in late March, Nationwide’s figures, which gauge mortgage approvals, show that while buyers rushed to get offers in and finance ready in February, once March began, buyers kept their powder dry as there was little chance of completing before the end of the tax holiday.

    Homebuyers live in hope that the impact of the Stamp Duty rise will be offset by the increasing availability of mortgage finance through the New Buy scheme. But since its introduction on 12 March it’s had a negligible impact on lending. That may change as more lenders find ways of making finance available through the scheme, but this month’s figures show the importance of the boost the tax holiday gave to the first time buyer market. The government has put all its eggs in the New Buy basket. We must hope that was a wise decision.