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Property prices see first June fall since 2009

20 June 2017

Research by property website Rightmove, which is used by the majority of British estate agents, has shown that asking prices for homes in Britain have fallen for the first time since 2009.

The average asking price for a home in Britain has fallen in June for the first time in eight years, according to an analysis by property website Rightmove.

Prices fall but sales surge

Across England and Wales, the average asking price in June stood at £316,109, more than £1,000 lower than the May figure, according to the analysis by Rightmove, whose listings site is used by about 90 per cent of British estate agents. The price fall represented the first seen in the month of June since 2009 – the height of the financial crisis – and was also the first monthly decline in asking prices recorded by Rightmove this year. Nevertheless, the property market has seen a surge in agreed sales during the month, particularly in the north of England. The number of sales agreed at this time of year was the second highest for ten years and only slightly lower than the record set in May 2014. Regional variations

Rightmove said that markets across the country were “performing at different speeds and levels” depending upon geography and sector, with the largest asking price falls recorded in London (-2.4 per cent) and SE England (-0.9 per cent). As these two regions account for a significant proportion of the total market, the figures have dragged down the national average. Meanwhile, the first-time buyer market has emerged as the fastest growing sector with prices for homes with up to two bedrooms surging 3.5 per cent month-on-month and 5.5 per cent on the year.

Political uncertainty ‘to continue’

Miles Shipside, Rightmoves director, commented, “It now seems certain that we will have continuing political uncertainty, which the housing market traditionally dislikes, and with the first fall in June prices for eight years there is no doubt that the lack of stability is a factor. “The price of property coming to the market had increased in June in every year since 2009, so buyer confidence has clearly been affected by inflation outstripping their pay packets and current political events. However, demand is still high and markets in some parts of the country seem to be getting used to coping with instability and are still strong. “The high levels of sales being agreed show that the underlying fundamentals are largely unchanged with high first-time buyer demand which drives movement higher up the ladder, all aided by the cheap cost of borrowing.

“The swingometer may be leaning towards a buyers’ market in some parts of the country, having been given another tilt in that direction by political uncertainty, but demand for housing and lack of buyer choice are maintaining a sellers’ market in others. “London and its commuter belt are proving to be a drag on the national figures, but are currently counter-balanced by continuing momentum in other parts of the country.

“Markets traditionally slow in the second half of the year, and with a slowing in the pace of asking price rises and the forthcoming months of political and economic confusion, the usual slower market in the second half of the year seems to be one of the few certainties in 2017.

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