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UK annual house price growth declines to 2.1% in March

U.K. annual house price growth edged down to 2.1% in March from 2.2% in February, under pressure from a squeeze on household budgets and muted economic activity, Nationwide Building Society said.

House prices declined by 0.2% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis after a 0.4% decrease in February. The average unadjusted house price increased to £211,625 in March from £210,402 in the previous month.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said the squeeze on household finances has lowered consumer confidence and wage growth continued to lag rises in cost of living.

"But historically low unemployment and mortgage interest rates together with the lack of properties on the market is likely to provide some support for house prices. Overall, we expect house prices to be broadly flat, with a marginal gain of around 1% over the course of 2018," Gardner said.

Average housing prices rose by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2018 on a seasonally adjusted basis and were up 2.5% year over year.