HOUSE
HOUSE

The average house price in Britain remained stable in March before the novel coronavirus restrictions were introduced, mortgage lender Halifax said Tuesday.

Hitting 240,384 pounds (about 296,337 U.S. dollars), house prices in March were 3.0 percent higher year-on-year, according to the Halifax’s House Price Index.

On a quarterly basis, house prices in the latest quarter (from January to March in 2020) were 2.1 percent higher than in the preceding three months (from October to December in 2019), said the Halifax.

“However, it’s clear we ended the month in very different territory as a result of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Russell Galley, managing director of the Halifax.

“With viewings cancelled and movers being encouraged to put transactions on hold, activity will inevitably fall sharply in the coming months,” said Galley, adding that “it’s still too early to properly assess what potential long-term impacts the current lockdown might have on the UK housing market.”

“Much will depend on the length of time it takes for restrictions to be lifted, the pressure that has been exerted on the economy in the meantime and the effect this has on consumer sentiment,” said Galley.

On March 23, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared a “moment of national emergency” and urged the British people to stay at home to curb the spread of COVID-19, allowing them to leave their homes only for “very limited purposes” including shopping for basic necessities, for any medical need, for one form of exercise a day and to travel to and from work when necessary. Enditem

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