Property prices fall by 0.2%

Michael Lloyd

July 15, 2019

The price of property coming to market has fallen by 0.2% this month according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

Rightmove has said it expects buyers in market sectors where there is an over-supply to have a stronger hand negotiating lower prices in the coming months.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “The housing market fundamentals remain largely sound in many parts of the country.

“However the current political climate means that the crucial ingredient of confidence has been impaired, and that is causing some potential buyers and sellers to hesitate.

“With record employment, low interest rates and good mortgage availability, buyers have a lot in their favour apart from the lack of political certainty.

“Those who have postponed their purchase should note that estate agency branches have more sellers on their books than at any time for the last four years, so there should be more choice of properties to buy.

“It could be a good opportunity to negotiate a relative bargain in the second half of the year, if they can set aside the continuing Brexit distractions.”

The index reports that there are fewer properties coming to market, with a 7.8% year-on-year decline.

The data also shows fewer sales being agreed, down by 4.6% year-to-date compared to the same period last year.

Average estate agents’ stock is now running at 53 properties, which is at its highest point since 2015.

In addition, the average time to secure a buyer is at 62 days, the highest at this time of year since 2013.

Shipside added: “Growing numbers of properties on agents’ books even though fewer properties are coming up for sale are evidence of a more challenging market, with more sellers competing to get their transaction over the line.

“With activity and prices often weaker in the second half of the year, it will be those sellers who are bold enough to price aggressively who will attract buyers with the confidence to act rather than hesitate.”

Activity is reportedly more robust in the mainstream lower and middle markets, made up predominantly of buyers requiring a mortgage rather than cash buyers.

Pete Mugleston, managing director at Online Mortgage Advisor, said he has seen a 103% increase year-on-year from July 2018 to July 2019 for first-time buyer enquires.

“We suspect that this is due to a small drop in house prices which have led to first-time buyers taking the opportunity to climb onto the property ladder.

“This shows that even in the current political landscape the housing market is still viewed as a longer-term investment. This strong growth has been seen across all regions and is in particular led by Northern Ireland (155%) and Greater London (136%).

“This morning’s mortgage lending statistics and House Price Index will do a lot to help the 35% of non-homeowners who fear they will be rejected from a mortgage and the interest shown from first-time buyers should continue to give the market a welcome boost across all regions.”

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