U.K. House-Price Growth Slows to Weakest in Almost Four YearsBy
Values increased annual 3.8% in the past three months
Prices stagnated in March from February, Halifax says
U.K. house-price growth slowed to the weakest in almost four years last month, according to Halifax.
In the three months to March, prices rose an annual 3.8 percent, the smallest advance since May 2013. The rate is also less than half the 10 percent peak reached just a year ago.
On the month, values stagnated, leaving the average at 219,755 pounds ($273,837), the lender said in a statement on Friday.
Huge gains in house prices in recent years -- a time of weak wage growth -- have pushed home ownership out of reach for many, which Halifax says has curbed demand. Still, with a shortage of supply also an issue in the U.K. market, that’s providing some support to prices.
“It’s now incontrovertible that the housing market has slowed sharply this year,” said Samuel Tombs, chief U.K. economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics in London. “House prices are being increasingly constrained by households’ incomes, now that mortgage rates have hit a floor and regulations are preventing a further upward shift in average loan-to-income ratios.”
— With assistance by Mark Evans