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House prices rise at a faster pace than expected

House prices rose at their fastest annual pace in more than a year in March Credit: PA

House prices rose at their fastest annual pace in more than a year in March, Nationwide has announced today.

The surge is a result of buyers of properties to rent and second homes trying to beat the introduction of a new tax, the mortgage lender said.

Property prices were 5.7% higher in March compared with the same month last year, a bigger increase than the 4.8% gain in February.

For the month, house price growth rose to 0.8% from 0.4%, Nationwide said.