Annual house price fall of more than 3% is biggest for 14 years says Nationwide

House prices fell by 0.8% in March and have now dropped by the largest amount year-on-year for more than a decade, according to Nationwide.

The mortgage lender said house prices were down 3.1% year-on-year, the biggest fall since July 2009, with all regions seeing slowing price growth.

The lender said the average price of a home was now £257,122, down 0.8% on the previous month, marking the seventh consecutive month of price falls. The drop compares to a 0.5% fall the previous month.

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The gloomy figures from Nationwide come despite positive reports in recent weeks from housebuilders and other lenders who painted a picture of a more stable housing market. Both Rightmove and the Halifax reported month-on-month price rises.

Annual house price inflation fell into negative territory by Nationwide’s reckoning last month, when it reported a 1.1% fall in prices year-on-year. Prices are now 4.6% below the peak seen last August.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “The housing market reached a turning point last year as a result of the financial market turbulence which followed the mini-Budget.

“It will be hard for the market to regain much momentum in the near term since consumer confidence remains weak and household budgets remain under pressure from high inflation. Housing affordability also remains stretched, where mortgage rates remain well above the lows prevailing at this point last year.”

The mortgage lender said that only four parts of the UK – the East Midlands, the South-west, Northern Ireland and Wales – had seen year-on-year growth in prices, with all other areas seeing price falls. The biggest price falls were in Scotland, East Anglia and the South-east.