Title: UK House Prices Defy Expectations with Third Consecutive Monthly Increase
The UK housing market is demonstrating its resilience as house prices have risen for the third consecutive month, despite economists’ predictions of a 0.3% decline. This upward trend is detailed in the latest price index from Halifax. As of March, the average house price in the UK has reached £287,880, marking a 0.8% monthly increase and a 1.6% annual increase.
While the recent growth rate represents a slight softening compared to the previous three months (when the rate was +2.1%), the figures remain a testament to the housing market’s strength amidst earlier forecasts for 2023. In March, the average house price increased across all UK nations and regions, with the exception of Greater London and the North East, where the annual house price inflation rate slowed down.
Northern Ireland reported the most robust annual growth in house prices at +4.9% (average house price of £186,459), followed by the West Midlands at +3.8% (average property price of £248,308). These figures are particularly encouraging for the West Midlands, as a recent review revealed that the region recorded 267 repossessed properties, accounting for 9% of the UK total.
In contrast, Wales saw its annual property price inflation rate decelerate to +1.0% (average house price of £213,959). In 2022, the country recorded 199 repossessed properties, representing 7% of the UK total. However, the Q4 figures showed a significant 141% increase in repossessions compared to the same period in the previous year.
The latest housing market figures provide a positive outlook for the UK economy, as experts initially forecasted a less promising start to the year. Martin Beck, Chief Economic Adviser to the EY Item Club, a forecasting group, commented on the situation, stating, “The economy is showing increased signs of health, aided by falling energy prices, with job creation continuing at a solid pace and consumer confidence recovering.”
As house prices continue to rise and the economy demonstrates signs of improvement, the UK housing market is proving to be more resilient than anticipated. The current growth trend could potentially lead to greater stability in the market and an optimistic outlook for both property buyers and sellers.