Average house prices in England have recorded their first annual fall since 2012, as property values in London tumbled at their fastest year-on-year rate in a decade, according to an index.
House price growth across the UK remained “subdued” in March, with prices just 0.7 per cent higher annually, the Nationwide Building Society said.
Property values edged up by 0.2 per cent month-on-month across the UK, taking the average house price to £213,102.
Across England, house prices fell by 0.7 per cent annually in the first quarter of 2019, reaching £255,683 on average.
The fall in the average house price in England was driven by declines in London and the South East – with prices still climbing in many other parts of the country.
Nationwide said it was the first annual price fall in England since the fourth quarter of 2012.
In London, house prices fell by 3.8 per cent annually in the first quarter of 2019.
Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said: “London was the weakest-performing region in quarter one, with prices 3.8 per cent lower than the same period of 2018 – the fastest pace of decline since 2009 and the seventh consecutive quarter in which prices have declined in the capital.
“This trend is not entirely unexpected, however, as it follows several years of sustained out-performance which left affordability more stretched.
“Policy changes that have impacted the buy-to-let market in recent years are also likely to have exerted more of a drag in London, given that the private rental sector accounts for a larger proportion of the housing stock in the capital than elsewhere in the country.”
Nationwide said that across the UK, Northern Ireland saw the biggest annual increase in house prices in the first quarter of 2019 with a 3.3 per cent uplift – although house prices in the region are still well below their 2007 peak.