House price growth slowest since 2013
- March sees smallest annual change in house prices for sixteen months, at 5.6% (£14,620)
- Despite slower rises, average property prices across England and Wales set new record at £275,123
- Slowdown more prevalent in the south as London hit by higher stamp duty and threat of Mansion Tax
- Sales up 11.6% in March – but only half the typical monthly upswing expected at this time of year
- In the run-up to the General Election, sales are down 5% year-on-year in Q1
Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, comments: “Property prices in England and Wales continue to hit new heights, yet the cogs of the machinery are flagging to the most laboured pace we’ve witnessed for sixteen months. Slowing to 5.6% in March 2015, annual house price growth has now been waning for half a year, and hasn’t been this sluggish since November 2013. But with homes on average worth £14,620 more than a year ago, it’s a far cry from anything worth lamenting from a bird’s eye view – even if people on the ground might feel somewhat differently. While price inflation simply isn’t as rapid as it was, the stamina is still strong, and prices edged forward another 0.2% in March.
“While house prices might still be on the up, sales appear to be treading water. Completed home sales in March 2015 totalled 72,200 – on the surface, this marks a strong 11.6% increase on February, but delving a little deeper reveals this is only half the uplift we would usually expect for the market at this typically animated time of year. Taking Q1 2015 as a whole, we’ve seen 5% fewer completed home sales than in the first quarter of last year.
“But this is far from a typical year. With the General Election tightening its tempo every week up until May 7th, cautious buyers are holding back to wait and see which way the chips fall. Property regulation is a hot topic in one of the most uncertain UK elections in a generation: no one wants to have the rug pulled from under their feet before they’ve made it through the front door.
Read the full report here.