UK house prices fell for the first time in two years in March, according to the latest report by Nationwide Building Society, but home ownership reached its lowest rate since 1985.
House prices dropped 0.3 per cent, the first decline since June 2015, bringing the annual rate down from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent.
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, says: “There was a mixed picture across the UK in Q1. Six regions saw the pace of house price growth accelerate, six saw a deceleration and one (East Midlands) recorded the same rate as the previous quarter. Interestingly, the spread in the annual rate of change between the weakest and strongest performing regions was at its narrowest since 1978 at 6.8 percentage points – the second smallest gap on record.
“The South of England continued to see slightly stronger price growth than the North of England, but there was a further narrowing in the differential. Northern Ireland saw a slight pickup in annual house price growth, while conditions remained relatively subdued in Scotland and Wales."
The latest English Housing Survey from DCLG revealed a further decline in the home ownership rate to 62.9 per cent in 2016 – the lowest recorded in over thirty years.
“Over the past decade, there has been a particularly marked decline in the home ownership rate amongst young adults (those aged 25-34), traditionally the segment containing most first time buyers (see chart below),” says Mr Gardner.
“While the last couple of years have seen a slight improvement in the proportion of young adults owning their own home (currently 38 per cent), this remains considerably lower than was the case ten years ago. The data also reveals a significant fall in home ownership rates amongst those aged 35-44 to just 56 per cent (down from 74% in 2006).”
Beavis Morgan – Specialist property advisers
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For further information about how we can help you with your property ambitions, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.
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