UK asking prices down 3.3% in December, latest Rightmove index shows

Taylor Scott International News

This year is ending with the largest ever monthly fall in the price of property for sale in the UK with the average asking price down by 3.3%, the latest index figures show. This has reduced annual price growth to 7% compared with 8.5% the previous month and is a further indication of the slowing pace of growth, according to the data from Rightmove. However, it points out that it is important to note that the recovery remains countrywide with all regions recording positive price growth for the year and Rightmove forecasts a national average rise in new seller asking prices in the range of 4% to 5% for 2015. According to Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, whilst a near £9,000 drop is the biggest ever reduction in the price of newly marketed property compared to the month before and a sign of a market continuing to cool, a fall is not unexpected in December. ‘Though sellers are fewer in number at this time of year, those that do come to market are often keener to sell so price lower in a bid to stand out. The overall picture for the year is still one of a much recovered property market, with sellers and their estate agents confident enough to be putting property on the market at a higher price on average than a year ago, although we predict a slower pace of price growth in 2015. This means that sellers and agents will have to work harder to achieve a sale next year,’ he explained. Rightmove predicts the South East will see the highest growth in prices next year as the London ripple effect continues and stock shortages remain acute. These factors mean that the East and South West regions also look set to perform better than the northern regions. It also says that London will not be the price rise powerhouse leading the rest of the country as it has been in 2014. Sectors of the London market will continue to re-adjust with several different forces at play. Shipside pointed out that affordability has already been stretched to its limit in some inner London locations, and there are also winners and losers with the Stamp Duty changes. The threat of mansion tax on properties over £2 million will remain a deterrent until at least May’s election. While buyer demand has tailed off during the second half of the year, there are now signs of fewer sellers coming to market too. In the last four weeks, 76,823 new sellers have come to market, down 4% on the same period a year ago and the second consecutive month that there has been a year on year fall. Rightmove also says that there are factors that could see this trend continue into 2015, exerting some modest further upwards price pressure. Stricter lending criteria may prevent some home-owners from being able to fund the trade up to the next… Continue reading →

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