Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

UK House Prices Rise In March: Rightmove

UK House Prices Rise In March: Rightmove

New research by Rightmove, the UK's largest property portal, has shown that the Midlands is setting the pace for property price increases where yearly growth is outstripping London by almost 5 per cent.

The data from Rightmove for March 2017 is a sign that the housing market is resilient in the United Kingdom despite economic and political uncertainty due to the decision of the country to leave the European Union.

Even as prospects for the housing market brighten, British consumer spending is set to slow to a four-year low in 2017 as inflation, weak wage growth and the impact of welfare cuts hit households, according to a separate report by the EY ITEM Club. For the first time, average property prices in the area have surpassed £200,000.

Prices in the West Midlands were also up 2.1% on a monthly basis, and 4.2% on the year.

The fastest pace of price growth is in the East Midlands, up by 5.7% over the year and 2.1% for the month.

Nationally, asking prices rose 1.3 per cent on the month to an average £310,108, with the Midlands leading the gains.

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. London no longer setting the paceMiles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said, "The pace is no longer being set by the more affluent commuter-belt South, including London with its global appeal". Neither is it set by the cheaper north driven by a mass of investors swooping on high buy-to-let yields.

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

"Since 2007 we've only once seen a larger rise than this in March, and we are also keeping pace with last year's rise, which had the added momentum of investors looking to beat the stamp duty tax deadline of 1 April", he said.

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

"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".

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: "The majority of the market is price sensitive with most agents we surveyed reporting that possible buyers are reluctant to enquire about a property just a few per cent too high in price".

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