House prices soar despite March slowdown

The March data revealed that prices climbed monthly by 1.0% and annually by 7.2% to stand at £262,291, 26% higher than bleak April 2009 levels.

Despite sales standing 22% ahead of March last year they stalled on a monthly basis, as in the South West of the UK they fell by 5% from February.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services attributes to delays, cancellations and hesitation from buyers to the March lull.

He said: “For the ninth month in a row average prices have set a new record, a clear sign of the sustained growth that has galvanised a tangible ‘feel-good factor’ among home-owners.

“However, sales did stall in March as the adverse weather in February took its toll - in contrast to the typically busier spring period we would normally expect.”

Prices in London continue to rocket, rising twice as fast as any other region.

Brown added: “The bottom line is we simply need more homes, not just to satisfy the growing demand but also to curb prices from rising beyond reach. Particularly in London, where those at the lower end are already facing an uphill struggle.

“The measures announced by the Chancellor in last month’s budget - funding to unlock housing projects - is the first step, but it will be putting this rhetoric into practice and seeing new homes come to fruition that will be the key.”