British house prices fell in February for the first time since September 2014 when house prices dipped by 0.1%. “February saw a further softening in annual house price growth to 5.7%, from 6.8% in January. This is the sixth month in a row in which annual growth has moderated, with house prices declining by 0.1% month on month.” says Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist. With the housing market slowing since summer 2014, when regulators tightened mortgage lending rules (MMR), the average house price sits at £187,964. “Home ownership is now at its lowest rate for almost thirty years and is eight percentage points below the all-time high of 70.9% in 2003” explains Mr Gardner. Consequently, there has been an increase in the private rental sector with over 4.4 million properties, which are now privately rented. This has nearly doubled over the last decade and represents 19% of total households. The buy-to-let market is still getting stronger. 2015 could see more positive activity for existing and new landlords. Buy-to-let rates start from 1.99% up to 60% loan to value. If you are interested in a buy-to-let mortgage or have any other mortgage enquiry, please call us on 0207 519 4900.