LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - British house prices fell by 0.2% in March after a 0.7% increase the month before, bucking economists' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 0.3% rise, figures from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Tuesday.

House prices were 1.6% higher than a year earlier, a faster rise than February's 1.2% but short of the 2.4% increase which economists had expected. (Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Kate Holton)