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UK house prices drop less than expected in March

Christian Fernsby |
UK house prices dropped less than expected in March, according to the latest figures from lender Halifax.

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House prices fell 1.6% on the month compared to a 5.9% increase in February. Still, this was better than the 2.4% decline expected.

On the year, prices rose 3.2% in March following a 2.8% jump the month before and versus expectations for a 2.3% increase.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said the monthly drop partly corrects the significant growth seen in February and again demonstrates the risk in focusing too heavily on short-term, volatile measures.

"Industry-wide figures show that the number of mortgages being approved remains around 40% below pre-financial crisis levels, and we know that lower levels of activity can lead to bigger price movements.

"The more stable measure of annual house price growth rose slightly to 3.2% and is still within our expectation for the year. The need to build up a deposit before getting a mortgage is still a challenge for many looking to buy a property. However, the combined effect of fewer houses for sale and fewer people looking to buy continues to support prices in the long-term.

"These conflicting challenges, when combined with the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit, have had an impact across the country but most notably in London, meaning that we continue to expect subdued price growth for the time being."

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