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6 April 2011

March sees annual house price fall of 2.9%

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by Gill Montia

March sees annual house price fall of 2.9%

The latest house price index from Halifax shows the value of the typical home increasing 0.1% in March, to £162,912.

Prices were down 0.6% on a quarterly basis with the decline showing an improvement on a fourth-quarter 2010 drop of 1%.

However, on an annual basis the average home had lost 2.9% of its value, with March registering the biggest year-on-year drop since October 2009.

Commenting on the data, the lender’s housing economist, Martin Ellis, says: “The recent increase in employment, particularly those in full-time jobs, may have been an important factor supporting the market.”

That being said, Mr Ellis is sticking with his forecast of a 2% decrease in house prices in 2011 as a whole.

According to the economist, uncertainty over the general outlook and individual financial circumstances are likely to constrain housing demand and exert “modest” downward pressure on prices.

Last week, Nationwide reported a 0.5% increase in house prices in March, compared with February, with the rise leaving the typical home worth 0.1% more than a year ago.

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