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UK house prices stagnate in March as buying activity plunges

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UK house prices stagnated in March as the number of transactions plunged, according to LSL Acadata.

[LONDON] UK house prices stagnated in March as the number of transactions plunged, according to LSL Acadata.

Values were flat on an annual basis last month as falls in London and southern England offset gains elsewhere, the firm said in a report on Thursday. In March alone, prices rose just 0.1 per cent, and transactions fell a seasonally-adjusted 15 per cent, despite the month marking the start of the traditional spring buying period.

The report is the latest to highlight the struggles of the UK housing market amid mounting Brexit uncertainty. Data from the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday showed values nationally rose just 0.6 per cent in February compared with a year earlier, while those in the capital dropped by the most since 2009.

The Acadata report showed large annual declines for London's most expensive boroughs in February. Kensington and Chelsea saw prices drop almost 30 per cent from a year earlier, while three of the capital's other priciest areas - the City of Westminster, Camden and Hammersmith and Fulham - also saw double-digit declines. Meanwhile the City of London bucked the trend with a 12 per cent jump.

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Acadata noted the large changes could be as a result of a lower number of transactions in January and February, making price swings more volatile. Overall, London prices are down 1.1 per cent from a year earlier, although data for the month alone gave some cause for optimism, pointing to a 1.2 per cent rebound.

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