Rightmove survey shows lowest ever rise in asking prices in March, rising an average 0.1%

Fears are growing that the housing market could be facing a double-dip recession as figures released today show house prices in March have risen by the lowest level recorded.

Asking prices for homes increased an average of 0.1% in March according to the latest survey by Rightmove.

The average rise of £216 is the lowest ever recorded in March by the firm and coincides with a return of sellers, with 34% more properties coming to market compared to March 2009, meaning more competition and less opportunity to increase asking prices.

At a national level it’s never previously fizzled out before spring has really sprung

Miles Shipside, Rightmove commercial director

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: “As usual we’ve seen a winter price lull followed by a new year bounce, though at a national level it’s never previously fizzled out before spring has really sprung. Observers of the market should note that new sellers are up by over a third on March last year and by 17.5% on last month, so in some areas more restrained pricing is required as a direct consequence of buyers having more choice".

He added that some further rises in the first half of this year when buyers have picked over the newly marketed stock, though the small increase in March shows how much more unpredictable the market has become.

The previous lowest rise seen in March, in 2003 and 2005, was 0.6%. This month’s virtual standstill is a less surprising says the company given the large 3.2% national upswing in February, when the shortage of new stock was exacerbated by people coping with the snow rather than getting their homes on the market.