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House prices bounce in March

House prices bounce in March

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 04/04/2012
First Published: 04/04/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
House prices registered a bounce in March, but are not expected to register much further movement over the rest of the year.

On a monthly basis, house prices increased by 2.2% in March, with efforts by first time buyers to beat the stamp duty holiday helping to support values.

At the end of the month, the average house price in the UK was £163,803, almost identical to July last year.

It is comfortably the steepest monthly increase in prices in the last 12 months, with the 1.5% rise in June 2011 the next highest rise.

But despite the rise, prices are still down on a quarterly and annual basis.

House prices in the three months to March were 0.1% lower than in the previous three months, and 0.6% lower than in the same period last year.

"Efforts by first-time buyers to beat the expiry of the stamp duty holiday at the end of March have probably increased sales in recent months and may have helped to support prices," said Martin Ellis, housing economist.

"We continue to expect little overall movement in prices this year provided that the UK economy does not suffer a pronounced weakening."

There were signs of a pick up in house sales which have risen to the highest levels since late 2009, with numbers in January and February up by 14% on the same period last year.

It is likely that the increase has been driven by first time buyers, meaning that the increase will fall away in the forthcoming months.

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