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UK house price growth slows


UK house price growth has slowed for the 7th month in a row, according to the latest figures from Nationwide Building Society.

Annual house price growth fell from 5.7% in February to 5.1% in March. House prices rose slightly by 0.1%, meaning the average house price is now £189,454. This figure is based on mortgages approved by Nationwide, adjusted to reflect the typical home.

These results are the first since the new way of charging Stamp Duty was introduced, which made purchases cheaper for the majority of buyers.

While house price growth was moderate throughout the whole of the UK, London and the south east of England experienced the strongest growth. Since the start of the year, house prices have actually fallen in some places, with the West Midlands seeing a 0.1% drop, Wales a 0.5% drop and in Scotland house prices fell by 0.6%.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said:
"Economic conditions have remained supportive, with labour market conditions continuing to improve and mortgage interest rates close to all-time lows.
"Nevertheless, the pace of housing market activity has remained subdued, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase in January around 20% below the level prevailing one year ago."

House prices are now 2% higher than they were before the 2008 financial crisis. Many potential first time buyers feel like they have been priced out of the property ladder, an issue which is being considered by all major political parties before the May general election.

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