UK House Prices Rise In March: Rightmove

After flattening in February, UK house prices increased in March due to a jump in the larger home top-of-the-ladder sector, property website Rightmove said Monday.

The average price of property coming to market grew 0.8 percent on a monthly basis in March, following a nil growth in February.

Nonetheless, the 0.8 percent increase was below the average monthly rise of 1.0 percent seen in the month of March over the last 20 years, reflecting a higher degree caution among new sellers.

The overall house price inflation was driven by the 1.2 percent increase in larger home prices.

“The beginning of the spring season sees stability and confidence continuing to return to the market as it recovers from the turbulence at the end of 2022,” Rightmove’s Director of Property Science Tim Bannister said.

Year-on-year, house price growth slowed to 3.0 percent from 3.9 percent in February. Average asking price was GBP 365,357 in March.

New seller asking prices are GBP 5,800 below October’s peak as market cautiously moves towards pre-pandemic activity levels despite economic turbulence, Rightmove noted.

Rightmove said data points to a market on a much more stable footing than anticipated and cautiously transitioning towards the activity levels of the more normal market of 2019. The pace of the slowdown to the normality was accelerated by the reaction to September’s mini-Budget.

Further, mortgage rates have declined from their peak seen in 2022.

In addition, the official estimates accompanied by the budget announcement showed that inflation is set to ease more quickly to 2.9 percent by the end of this year. This is a positive news and the Bank of England might temper the rate hikes and reduce them more quickly than previously anticipated, Rightmove said.

The BoE has raised its benchmark interest rate by 390 basis points since the current tightening cycle began in December 2021. The BoE is expected to raise the rate by a quarter point this week, which is likely to be the last hike in store.

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