House prices up 2.8%

Ryan Bembridge

July 17, 2017

Average property asking prices rose to 2.8% in the year to July 2017, Rightmove’s house price index has found.

The rate of growth was up from 1.8% in June, while a monthly fall of -0.4% in June became a minor increase of 0.1% in July.

Despite the increase Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Prices are in the summer doldrums.

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“Sellers coming to market at this time of year have to price more keenly as the traditionally bubblier spring selling season is over and prospective buyers are distracted by their own summer holiday plans.

“A year on from the shock referendum result and subsequent dent in activity levels, the fundamentals remain strong.

“Low unemployment, low interest rates, strong demand and historic undersupply of homes are mitigating any wobbles in confidence and as a result nearly half the properties on the market, over 45%, have sold signs slapped across them.”

The average asking price stands at £316,421.

There were 7.6% more sellers coming to market in July compared to the same month last year, however Rightmove said stretched buyer affordability is acting as a ‘price brake’.

Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of eMoov.co.uk, said: “Encouraging signs that seller interest at least has picked back up following June’s election.

“Although the current parliamentary situation is far from strong and stable, we’re already seeing elections blues sidelined and the market return to a semblance of normality now that some of the dust of political uncertainty has started to settle.

“We saw a similar hangover from the EU Referendum in which the market took a good month or so before kicking back into action.

“It is likely that should these figures ring true, we could see a reverse in the cooling price trends reported over the last month or so, but heightened seller activity must be matched on the buyer’s side of the market in order for this to happen, otherwise, we could see the reverse.

“After all, Rightmove’s data is based largely on listed stock and asking prices and is just a mere toe dip into the UK property market pool and it doesn’t necessarily portray the overall temperature of the market as a sale agreed doesn’t guarantee it will be completed.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Today’s figures mirror the slowing of house price growth that we saw in the recent RICS survey, but activity in the mortgage market remains strong – and the property market outside of London and the South East continues to show healthy growth.

“In the North, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham continue to enjoy strong performance, whilst across the country, first-time buyers have also doubled in number from the market low of 2009.

“However, the ongoing lack of housing supply remains a fundamental issue. It’s time for the government to address the housing crisis by building thousands more affordable homes to help more young adults across the country make their first step on the property ladder.”

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