Market pauses for breath in February

Prices averaged £204,355 after falling by 0.2% from January 2015, but they still stood 6.8% higher than in February 2014.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, said: “New housing stock across the UK materialised in February with supply up almost 11% in a single month which is matched by a similar uplift in buyer registrations – a sign of consumer confidence in the market.

“So far this year average house prices are showing no significant fluctuations, which is good news for affordability.”

First-time buyers have benefitted, as the average starter home price has fallen by 2.2% year-on-year.

London prices fell by 1.2% annually to stand at £466,990, but there are still 21 buyers going for every home in the capital.

House sale volumes fell by 7.8% month-on-month to stand at 50,124 in February, while this represents a 14.1% reduction year-on-year.

Smith added: “Despite this promising start to 2015, the number of new home starts promised post-election by the main political parties falls well short of what is needed and we still lack a strategic long-term policy to address supply.

“After showing no growth last month, London’s average property price has declined annually – which is no bad thing for affordability and sentiment.

“This is no ‘boom and bust’ but the beginning of a return to normality following the peak of the market in spring 2014."