Postitive signs ahead as house prices in the UK saw an increase in annual growth in March, with prices up 1.6% compared to a year ago. The best performing region was Northern Ireland, where prices rose by 4.6%, while the South West was the weakest performing region, with prices down 1.7% over the year.

Nationwide’s Chief Economist, Robert Gardner, commented that although UK house prices fell by 0.2% in March, the annual rate of growth edged higher to 1.6%. He noted that activity has increased from the low levels seen at the end of 2023, but remains subdued compared to historical standards. Gardner highlighted that mortgage approvals for house purchases were still below pre-pandemic levels, primarily due to higher interest rates affecting affordability.

Despite these challenges, there was a positive trend in all regions’ annual price growth in the first quarter of 2024. Northern Ireland continued to lead with a 4.6% increase, while the North of England saw the most significant improvement in annual growth. Southern England, on the other hand, experienced a slight fall in prices, with the South West being the weakest performing region.

Overall, the quarterly data for Q1 2024 showed a UK average house price of £260,791 with a 1.0% annual percentage change. London remained the most expensive region, while the North was the least expensive. Northern Ireland had the strongest annual price change, while the South West had the weakest.

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