Average UK house prices rise following previous decline: ONS

The annual inflation rate for average UK house prices was 1.8% (provisional estimate) in the 12 months leading up to March 2024, compared to a revised estimate of -0.2% in the 12 months leading up to February 2024.

This information is based on the latest data from the ONS UK House Price Index.

The average UK house price was £283,000 in March 2024 (provisional estimate), which is £5,000 higher than 12 months ago. Over the 12 months leading up to March 2024, average house prices increased in England to £299,000 (1.0%), in Wales to £214,000 (1.3%), and in Scotland to £192,000 (6.7%). In Northern Ireland, the average house price rose to £178,000 in the year to Q1 (January to March) 2024 (4.0%).

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average UK house prices increased by 0.7% between February 2024 and March 2024, compared with a decrease of 1.2% during the same period 12 months ago.

Among the English regions, Yorkshire and the Humber experienced the highest annual house price inflation, with prices increasing by 5.0% in the 12 months to March 2024. London had the lowest annual inflation, with prices decreasing by 3.4% over the same period.

Commenting on the latest figures, Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson said: “The housing market is a key indicator regarding wider economic health, and it is extremely positive to see further uplift and confidence within the housing sector.

“As inflation tracks downwards, it is widely anticipated the Bank of England will consider a reduction in its base rate, and at this point, we hope to see lenders offering a much wider range of competitive and highly targeted deals.”

Atom bank head of mortgages Richard Harrison also expressed optimism about the new data: “The increase in house prices reported today brings to an end a long run of falls and marks a clear turnaround in confidence among buyers. While inflation has fallen by less than expected today, denting hopes of an imminent reduction in the base rate, the reality is that cuts are coming, and that is bringing would-be purchasers back to the market.”

Former RICS residential chairman and London estate agent Jeremy Leaf noted that while this relatively modest acceleration in house-price increases, which includes mortgaged and cash sales, was somewhat dated, it showed how even anticipation of today’s drop in inflation was giving another boost to housing market activity.

“Confidence is such an important factor when it comes to home-buying decisions, and there is no doubt that the cost of living plays a huge part when buyers are deciding whether to take on further debt,” he added. “On the ground, expectations are rising that mortgage rates are continuing on their journey south, even if they are not moving as far or as soon as many had expected.”