Asking prices down by 0.2% year on year in the UK

Asking prices in the UK are 0.2% below where they were in May 2018 and supply is down by 9%, according to the latest national index.

Seasonal factors lifted the average home price in England and Wales by 0.5%, but low numbers of market participants have undermined this, say the report from Home.co.uk.

It adds that month on month while prices rose in Wales, Scotland and all English regions, this was driven by hope rather than demand and the total stock for sale has increased by a mere 1.7% year on year.

London’s annualised losses have moved back slightly from 3.1% to 2.9% and now total 6.7% since the start of the price decline in May 2016. Asking price falls in the South East continued to ease to 1.5% year on year but worsened in the East to 3%.

The figures also show that an increasing number of vendors have withdrawn from the sales market altogether, with numbers up 6.5% year on year. The only regional supply increases were recorded in the East and West Midlands, both up 3%.

To put it in perspective, the report points out that annual growth was 1.1% a year ago and the stalled market is likely to be unchanged.

Typical time on the market figures show that the worst regional slowdowns are in Greater London, up 23%, the East of England up 25%, the South West up 20% and the South East also up 20% year on year.

Indeed the typical time on the market is currently 89 days in England and Wales, 11 days longer than in May 2018, making it the slowest May since 2014.

London is the worst affected by this crisis of confidence, brought on by Brexit uncertainty, where lack of demand means the typical time on the market for unsold property has soared by 23% and it is now the slowest in the London housing market for 10 years.

At the same time, vendors’ reluctance to commit has meant that supply has dropped 28% year on year. The report says that market pessimism is widespread and Brexit uncertainty, combined with the post-boom malaise, continues to hamper property sales.

‘A wait and see attitude is stifling both supply and demand. So far, these exceptional strains on the market have had little net effect on the established pricing trends but home values appear to be levitating, based more on aspiration than any real underlying market fundamentals,’ the report points out..

‘Spring optimism has managed to lift prices in all the English regions, Wales and Scotland, although this appears to be driven by wishful thinking on the part of a reduced number of vendors rather than by demand, as properties spend longer and longer on the market,’ it adds.