Rightmove and Your Move figures show 2018 ending with slowdown
A second fall in the price of houses coming to market in as many months means asking prices are nearly £10,000 lower than two months ago, according to new data.
Rightmove’s latest House Price Index reveals that there was a fall of 1.5% in the month to 8 December. Their previous report showed a drop of 1.7%, and it all equates to new seller asking prices being £9,719 down on early October. It’s the biggest fall over two consecutive months since 2012.
The traditional property slowdown before Christmas can account for some of the index’s findings, but the uncertainty over Brexit is certainly playing its part and leading to a general hedging of bets all round.
The time to sell went up by four days to 65, nine more than the year’s fastest average recorded in May. However, the number of sales agreed was down by just 2.1%, hinting that despite the current conditions some bargain hunters are willing to make their move.
Some hopeful signs
However, the report’s annual figures point to some positivity around the UK as 2018 comes to a close, with properties in Wales having gone up by 6.2%. Yorkshire and Humber saw property prices rise by 4.8% in the year to December, and in the West Midlands they rose by 4.5%. At 3.2%, the rate of growth in the north-west of England was steady but a fraction less than the previous report’s year-on-year figure.
“It’s usual for new-to-the-market sellers to price lower in the run-up to Christmas to tempt distracted buyers, so we should not read too much into the mere fact of two consecutive monthly falls,” says Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing analyst.
“However, these falls have been larger than usual, making this the largest fall over two months for six years, showing that there are more than just seasonal forces at play.
“We forecast that 2019 will see a similar pattern with the north still broadly out-performing the south, though our prediction for the year ahead is slightly more muted with the overall national average flat at 0%.
“There are however some signs of cheaper prices tempting buyers searching for a bargain. There are still buyers in the market for the right property at the right price.”
Figures from Your Move echo Rightmove’s findings, with an annual growth rate of 0.9%. However, a seasonally-adjusted transaction level of 2.5% is described as “encouraging” by Your Move/Reeds Rains MD Oliver Blake.
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