Saturday, 29 March 2008

Fifth Consecutive Month of UK Home Price Declines

UK House prices fell -0.6% in March after a -0.5% decline in February. That makes 5 consecutive monthly declines in UK home prices. That has never happened according to the data supplied by Nationwide which began in 1991. From Nationwide:

No bounce in house prices this Easter

• House price growth slows to lowest level in twelve years
• Clear change in consumers’ housing market sentiment
• Outlook more downbeat, but within forecast range
• MPC expected to bring rate cut forward to April

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

“House prices fell for the fifth consecutive month in March. The price of a typical house fell by 0.6% during the month, bringing the annual rate of house price growth down to 1.1% - its lowest rate since March 1996. A clear change in sentiment since the late summer has led to the sharp slowing in house price growth, even in the less volatile 3-month on 3-month series. Prices on this measure are now 1.5% lower than three months ago. The price of a typical house in the UK is now £179,110, only £2,027 more than this time last year. However, prices are still 11% higher than two years ago and 47% higher than five years ago - the equivalent of a price rise of more than £30 per day for the last five years.

Last month I said that year over year UK home prices will start to show declines by mid year, that may prove to be overly optimistic. Given the current trend year over year price declines will probably show up next month.

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