Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

U.K. House Prices Fall for First Time in Almost Two Years

  • Nationwide index shows home values dropped 0.3% in March
  • Annual pace of increases also cooled this month, report says

U.K. house prices fell for the first time in almost two years in March, according to the latest report from Nationwide Building Society.

The 0.3 percent monthly drop, the first decline since June 2015, pulled the annual rate down to 3.5 percent from 4.5 percent. That’s the weakest year-on-year increase in values since August 2015.

While there’s monthly volatility in price changes, the underlying trend is showing the U.K. housing market cooling. The annual increase was close to 6 percent a year ago.

While Nationwide doesn’t provide a detailed breakdown across the country, it said the picture was “mixed” across various regions. The south of England continued to see slightly stronger price growth than the north, but there was a narrowing in the differential, it said. That tallies with other reports pointing to a more pronounced slowdown in London than in other regions.

The spread in the annual rate of change between the weakest and strongest performing regions was at its narrowest since 1978, Nationwide said.

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