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Annual UK Property Price Growth Up 1.6% in March

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    Nationwide’s Latest Figures Suggest Promising Start to 2024 is Continuing

    After a subdued 2023 for the UK property market, this year has got off to a more promising start.

    According to Nationwide’s latest House Price Index, March 2024 continued this optimistic, positive annual price growth trajectory. Property prices are up 1.6% compared to last year, an improvement on last month’s yearly growth of 1.2%.

    Let’s look at the data revealed by this index in greater detail.

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      What Does the House Price Index Say?

      Looking at the month-on-month change, UK house prices fell by 0.2% when seasonal adjustment factors were considered, while last month, they recorded a monthly growth of 0.7%. However, when looking at annual growth, the market is still up, with a yearly change of 1.6%. The average price for March 2024 was £261,142, higher than February’s figure of £260,420.

      Nationwide’s data is taken from its mortgage lending activity and does not take cash buyers or buy-to-let deals into account. Cash buyers make up around a third of housing sales in the UK.

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      North England’s Property Market Continues to Outperform the South

      The data outlines a clear north-south divide when it comes to UK property prices. Prices in North England were up 1.7% year-on-year, while the South registered a price drop of 0.3%.

      London was still the most promising southern region, with annual price growth of 1.6%. The South West was the worst-performing area, with prices down 1.7% year-on-year.

      For the first quarter of 2024, all regions showed improvement in the annual rate of change, but some regions recorded modest price declines. The most significant improvement in quarterly price growth was in the North. In Q4 2023, Northern England displayed a dip of 0.8%, but this jumped to 4.1% growth in Q1 2024, making it the best-performing region of England.

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        What Does This Mean for the 2024 Property Market?

        So, is UK property a good investment in 2024? According to Nationwide, the start of the year has brought optimism to the market, with experts observing promising signs for the rest of the year.

        Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said:

        “Activity has picked up from the weak levels prevailing towards the end of 2023 but remains relatively subdued by historic standards. For example, the number of mortgages approved for house purchase in January was around 15% below pre-pandemic levels. This largely reflects the impact of higher interest rates on affordability. While mortgage rates are below the peaks seen in mid-2023, they remain well above the lows prevailing in the wake of the pandemic.

        “With cost-of-living pressures easing as inflation moves back towards target, consumer sentiment is improving. Indeed, surveyors report a pickup in new buyer enquiries and new instructions to sell in recent months. Moreover, with income growth continuing to outpace house price growth by a healthy margin, housing affordability is improving, albeit gradually.

        “If these trends are maintained, activity is likely to gain momentum, though the pace of the recovery is still likely to be heavily influenced by the trajectory of interest rates.

        Learn More: Read more about the UK property investment scene with our dedicated buy-to-let area guides covering topics such as available investment property in Rotherham and Oldham investment properties.

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        Jessica Ferris

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        Jessica is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Jessica helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.