Doug Crawford comments on today’s ONS House Price Index for March

“The ONS House Price Index for March shows that the general slowdown in the annual house price growth is rumbling into 2017. From a healthy annual pace of 5.6% in the year to February, it has slowed to a more moderate year-on-year increase of 4.1% in March. The let-up in pace will be welcome news to the UK’s housing ladder hopefuls as annual growth rates above 5% have been taking house prices further out of reach.

“The upcoming general election is likely leading to a sluggish first half for the housing market, but if the pattern follows the 2015 election, the market will bounce back sharply as the UK shakes off its general election jitters. Our recent research found that 57% of aspiring first-time buyers remain ‘hopeful and confident’ about their chances of getting on the property ladder, and current market conditions form a good springboard for a positive year for the sector.”