The latest Nationwide House Price Index highlights a fall in property prices of 0.3% in March, the first drop since June 2015.
Annually, house prices have increased 3.5% since this time last year, and the average UK property price now stands at £207,308.
The report also points to the latest English Housing Survey from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which looks at national housing trends and conditions. The latest report reveals that home ownership levels reached a peak of 71% in 2003, but has gradually declined to a current rate of just 63%.
The last decade has seen a drop in home ownership amongst young adults aged between 25 and 34, although figures have improved over the last year or two. There has however been a significant fall in ownership amongst 35-44 year olds, falling from 74% in 2006 to just 56% last year.
Interestingly, the strongest increases in the rental sector have been in the older age groups, with the number of privately rented households in the 45-54 group nearly tripling to almost 700,000 over the last 10 years.
Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner says that “it is interesting to note that these age groups have also seen a decline in the proportion of people owning with a mortgage and an increase in those owning their homes outright. This suggests a growing divide between property ‘haves’ and have-nots’.”
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Annual house price growth slows