UK house prices rose before coronavirus lockdown
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show house prices rose 2.1 per cent, up from 2 per cent in February.
The average price of a house in the UK in March was £231,855.
Northern Ireland saw the biggest jump in house prices, recording an increase of 3.8 per cent to £140,580.
This was followed by England, where average prices saw an annual increase of 2.2 per cent to £248,271 in March.
In Wales, house prices rose by 1.1 per cent to £161,684 annually.
Prices increased 1.5 per cent annually to £151,856 in Scotland.
Signs of positivity
The housing market came to a standstill when the UK went into lockdown on 23 March. However, the government lifted some restrictions last week, allowing estate agents, conveyancers and removal firms to re-open.
Buyers and renters are now also able to complete purchases and view properties in person.
Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “With the government allowing the market to re-open, enabling agents and valuers to access properties once more, this has resulted in most lenders returning with mortgage offerings similar to those on offer pre-lockdown.
“Hopefully, this will gain traction going forward, which along with government stimulus and assistance should see a steadier level of activity in the market in the final half of the year,” Aboody added.
Marc von Grundherr, director of London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, said: “The strong growth seen at the start of the year and annually has provided a strong foundation on which the market can bounce back and fears of a market crash should now move to the back of our minds.”