House prices unchanged in march

> The Nationwide House Price Index has indicated that UK house prices remained unchanged in March, taking into account seasonal adjustments. That puts the average house price at £164,630 and although there is no monthly change it does represent an annual increase of 0.8%, which is the first positive house price growth since February last year.

Nationwide puts that down to several reasons, one being that buyer demand has held up with improved rates of employment growth. However a big factor has been the impact of the Funding for Lending Scheme which has increased competition in the mortgage market and sent mortgage rates tumbling.

Improved mortgage availability is bound to help improve conditions in the housing market even though Nationwide accepts that housing supply remains constrained. It doesn’t go as far as to predict a sustained recovery in prices citing the uncertainty in the wider economy, which makes it so difficult to pin down how prices might move from here on.

However the positive signs in the mortgage market continue with lenders cutting rates in an effort to maintain their competitive position. Yorkshire BS cut its 5 year fixed rate to a record low of 2.59%, trimmed down slightly from 2.64%. The sharpest rates continue to be focused on those that can put down large deposits (at least 40% in this case) and many can carry larger fees.

It therefore makes sense to look at the best overall value, factoring in fees. Most lenders offer a range of rate/fee combinations so borrowers need to crunch the numbers in order to find the best solution for their individual circumstances.

If you want to see how your house price has changed recently try our house price calculator.

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