According to the UK House Price Index, the price of new build property slipped 6.4% in March. However, the estimate for the new build market is based on a small sample which can cause volatility.
According to the index, the average price of a new build property is £262,299. This is up 9.5% from March 2016.
Overall, in England March data shows an annual price increase of 4.4% which takes the average property value to £232,530. Monthly house prices have fallen by 0.6% since February 2017.
UK House prices grew by 4.1% in the year to March 2017, 1.5 percentage points lower than in the year to February 2017.
In terms of housing demand, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) residential market survey for March 2017 reported that housing market activity remained “relatively subdued”.
New buyer enquiries and agreed sales remain broadly unchanged since the start of the year. This is consistent with UK Property Transaction statistics which showed that in March 2017 the total number of seasonally adjusted property transactions completed in the UK with value of £40,000 or above has remained at a similar level for the last three months.
According to the Bank of England’s Agent’s summary of business conditions, PDF, some estate agents noted the number of properties on their books was “less than half pre-crisis norms” with “modest excess demand” supporting “low-level house price inflation”. In London, the same report noted that properties were taking longer to sell and that house price inflation had “eased significantly”.
This is confirmed by the latest UK HPI estimate for London for the year to March 2017 at 1.5%, 3.2 percentage points lower than February 2017.
On the supply side, RICS reported that sales instructions continued to fall in March. They also reported that average estate agents stock levels fell to a new record low, which they report is weighing on sales activity.