United Kingdom house prices up 1.3% in March; Midlands lead the way

Posted March 20, 2017

United Kingdom house price growth was flat in March amid uncertainty over the impact of Brexit, according to figures from Rightmove today.

As of March 2016 the East Midlands saw prices rise by 2.1% and 5.7% on a monthly and annual basis, while West Midlands prices climbed by 2.1% month-on-month and 4.2% annually.

Climbing property prices in March are in line with the increase seen this time past year, although at that time demand was being boosted by buy-to-let investors rushing to beat a stamp duty hike that was coming into force in April.

According to estate agents in the Midlands, the majority of sellers in the region are achieving their full asking price and in many cases exceeding the guide price.

This signals a slight uptick in growth in the background of a slowing market.

In London, property prices were up 1.4% on the month and 0.9% on the year to £649,772, driven mainly by increases in Outer London, where the average price was up 2.6%, compared to a 0.4% rise in Inner London.

The Founder and CEO of online estate agent eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, says: "Depite Rightmove's best intentions to deliver transparent market analysis, the nature of their data being based on asking price and not sold price means it should only be viewed as a tentative toe dip into the state of the United Kingdom market at present".

Three-quarters of agents surveyed by Rightmove report that the market is now price-sensitive, with buyers reluctant to enquire if properties are priced just a few per cent too high.

Annual price growth was more subdued in other areas, rising by 0.9% in London despite a 1.4% monthly increase.

"The pace is no longer being set by the more affluent commuter-belt south, including London with its global appeal".

The most affordable local authority in 2016 was Copeland, with house prices being on average 2.8 times greater than annual earnings.

According to property website Rightmove, the price of property coming to market went up 1.3% in March, down from 2% the previous month.

"As other parts of the country suffer from varied factors such as highly-stretched affordability, changes in sentiment and increased economic uncertainty, it is the Mighty Midlands that is the current powerhouse of price rises".

"In areas like the Midlands where prices aren't as inflated [as the south-east], a more no nonsense approach is benefiting homeowners as they proceed with their sale and see stronger, more natural price growth across the board as a result".