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&#39Solid rise in house prices&#39

Continuing rises in house prices are creating a solid outlook for the rest of the year, according to March figures from Halifax and Nationwide.

Halifax, the UK’ biggest lender, says the average property price rose by 0.4 per cent in March to £87,453 from February’ average of £87,088.

Nationwide figures for March show a rise of 1.4 per cent to £85,077 from £83,314 in February.

The lenders’ figures on the pace of house price growth also differed, with Nationwide showing that annual house price inflation slowed to 7.2 per cent in March, which it says is consistent with the steady decline over the past 11 months.

Halifax says annual growth was down to 4.1 per cent in March, a substantial drop compared with the same period last year when it stood at 13.5 per cent. It says highprofile rate cuts by major lenders has helped boost demand for homeloans.

Nationwide says the housing market remains robust and is standing by its initial forecast for house price inflation of 7 per cent by the end of the year.

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