February figures should not dent confidence
Commenting, he said: “We shouldn’t be deflated by February’s figures. Although seasonal factors, the end of the stamp duty holiday and the weather doubtless played a role in February’s dip, prices, at the macro level, were becoming disconnected from the broader economy. In the long term, a minor correction to the recent trend of price growth will bring greater stability to the market.
“Strong demand for property has been straitjacketed by supply in recent months. Today’s data may encourage prospective sellers to market their properties, which will bring a more natural flow to the market.
“Even though there has been a small increase in stock levels over the past month, they are still extremely low. Such is the competition for quality properties that many are going to best and final offers. More and more people want to buy but all too often the cupboard is bare.
“Our advice to sellers continues to be this: take advantage of the current market and sell now before prices potentially fall further. Mortgage finance is also unlikely to be as competitive as it is now later in the year.
“There is every chance prices will fall back in the second half of the year, particularly if interest rates rise and, as many still think, the economic recovery continues to drag. This will force more properties onto the market and apply downward pressure on prices.”