British House Prices Falling

The Nationwide has released data suggesting that British house prices have fallen by around 1% between February and March 2012. Confirming the gloomy picture is the Bank of England data which has identified a fall in the number of mortgages being approved by high street banks in February. This was despite an increase in mortgages being approved up until January.

There are a number of reasons which have been identified as a cause for this drop. The main one being the end of the stamp duty concession for first time buyers purchasing properties between £125,000 and £250,000 being reinstated. Over the previous 6 months there had been a rush by first time buyers to take advantage of this concession seen by a average rise month on month over the last half year.

Nationwide explained  that around 65% of first-time buyers would pay stamp duty in the coming year. For an estimated 100,000 buyers, that would add an average of about £1,800 to the purchase price of a home costing between £125,000 and £250,000.

Economists are desperate to identify positive vibes in the economy however these statistics are another depressing indication that the UK has some way to get to the strong economic environment of the early 2000’s.

The mortgage lender, Nationwide also suggested that prices dipped in all but three regions of the UK in the first three months of the year compared with the previous quarter.

Regionally the picture remains similar, with only 3 regions in the UK which saw any rise, the north of England, Scotland and Greater London. The greatest rise was seen in the north of England which saw a growth of 0.6% between January and March. While Wales saw the greatest fall of 3.1% during the same period.

As has been the case for many years now, London saw the fastest house price growth year on year with a rate of 2.3%, with prices falling the most in Northern Ireland, down 8.6%.

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