Average property prices have neared £200,000 in Scotland as the median UK house price increased by 0.8% month on month in March.

However, the annual rate of house price growth has slowed to its weakest level in more than three years, according to Halifax.

Experts have said that the slowdown in the housing market is "clear as day". 

The annual rate of house price growth in the UK eased to 1.6% in the past month.

In Scotland, the annual rate of growth stalled at 2.3% - the same rate as January but a rise of 0.1% from February. 

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According to figures, the average property price in Scotland reached £199,853, still slightly below peak prices which soared past £200,000 in 2022.

Kim Kinnaird, director of Halifax Mortgages, said that the UK average house price of £287,880 also remained below an August peak.

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She said about the UK-wide figures: “On an annual basis, house prices were 1.6% higher than a year ago, slowing from 2.1% in February.

“This is the weakest rate of annual growth in nearly three and a half years (October 2019), having fallen markedly since June 2022’s peak of 12.5%.

“However, overall these latest figures continue to suggest relative stability in the housing market at the start of 2023 and align with many other recent industry surveys and data.”

Ms Kinnaird added: “The principal factor behind this improved picture has been an easing of mortgage rates.

“The sudden spike in borrowing costs that we saw in November and December has now been largely reversed."

Halifax’s latest findings contrast with a separate house price index released by Nationwide Building Society last week.

According to Nationwide’s calculations, house prices fell by 0.8% month on month in March, marking the seventh month of price falls in a row.

Martin Beck, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said: “The divergence between the two measures complicates a reading of the housing market.

“Taking the Halifax measure in isolation, there are reasons why prices may be holding up better than expected. A rise in mortgage approvals in February and better survey data on transactions of late suggests that weakness in housing market activity may have bottomed out.”

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Senior personal finance analyst at interactive investor Myron Jobson said the latest house index showed "resilience". 

He said: “Halifax’s latest house price index shows the property market remains resilient as a double whammy of rampant inflation and rising interest rates continues to squeeze affordability. But it remains clear as day that a slowdown in the housing market is it at play.

“There has been a comedown from heady double-digit house price growth, with prices slowing to 1.6% in March on an annual basis according to Halifax’s study. Meanwhile, Nationwide reports that house price growth reversed in March, down 3.1% year-on-year - the largest annual decline since July 2009.

“The conflicting assessments is symptomatic of a hiccupping market that is adjusting to a come down from the blistering pace of house price growth over the past few years."

Other experts are expecting prices to "pick up" this spring. 

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of estate agents’ body Propertymark, said: “Prices have adjusted to rising interest rates, curbing affordability, but as we head into April and May, prices may pick up as more buyers will be on the move.”