House Prices Down for First Time in 7 Months

Figures published this week show that, for the first time in 7 months house prices have fallen across the UK. The data; released by property analysts Hometrack, showed prices dropping in every region except London.

Prices fell by an average of 0.1 per cent in July, and even in London, whose housing market has shown considerably more resilience than much of the country, price rises slowed to a paltry 0.1 per cent. Hometrack’s data also showed that supply continues to outstrip demand, with more homes going up for sale than potential buyers for them.

The number of new potential buyers registering with an estate agent last month fell by 2.1 per cent, while the volume of homes going up for sale rose by 1.4 per cent. Figures for the last 3 months look even worse, with properties for sale increasing by just over 5 per cent, and the demand for them falling by 2.2 per cent.

The data shows that house prices in the North, which have generally fallen lower than those in the south, could be bottoming out, thanks to an improvement in the proportion of properties achieving their asking price, which could mean that prices have fallen so low that buyers no longer go after discounts.

The North East was the region with the biggest price drop at 0.5 per cent. House prices in the North West fell 0.3 per cent, the South West and West Midlands, as well as Yorkshire and Humberside, all dropped by 0.2 per cent.

Hometrack’s Research Director, Richard Donnell said: “Weaker demand is normal over the summer months, however, compared to previous years, the seasonal slowdown started earlier and came on more quickly than in previous years, reflecting continuing concern about the country’s economy”..

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