Scotland’s house price slump worst in UK
House prices fell 3.1% in March on a year ago – the seventh consecutive monthly decline and the largest annual fall since July 2009 – with Scotland showing the weakest performance.
All regions saw a slowing in price growth in Q1, with most seeing small year-on-year falls, according to the latest data from Nationwide Building Society.
The West Midlands was the strongest performing region, while Scotland saw prices fall 3.1% compared with a year ago, a sharp slowing from the 3.3% year-on-year increase in the previous quarter.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said prices across the UK are 4.6% below their August peak, after taking account of seasonal effects.
“The housing market reached a turning point last year as a result of the financial market turbulence which followed the mini-Budget” he said.
“Since then, activity has remained subdued – the number of mortgages approved for house purchase remained weak at 43,500 cases in February, almost 40% below the level prevailing a year ago.
“It will be hard for the market to regain much momentum in the near term since consumer confidence remains weak and household budgets remain under pressure from high inflation.
“Housing affordability also remains stretched, where mortgage rates remain well above the lows prevailing at this point last year.
“Nine out of our 13 regions recorded annual house price declines in Q1.
“Scotland remained the weakest performing region with prices down 3.1% compared with a year ago, a sharp slowing from the 3.3% year-on-year increase the previous quarter.
“Northern Ireland saw a noticeable slowing in annual house price growth, although prices were still up 1.3% year-on-year. Meanwhile in Wales, annual house price growth slowed from 4.5% to -0.7%.”