Asking prices down in England and Wales, first fall for June since 2009

Asking prices in England and Wales fell by 0.4% last month, the first fall in June since 2009 and the first monthly decline of 2017, according to the latest index figures.

Average asking prices were down by £1,172 overall across the nation, but on a regional basis only three recorded falls, the data from property portal Rightmove shows. Meanwhile, the annual rate of price increase has slowed to 1.8%, the lowest since April 2013.

They fell in Greater London by 2.4% month on month to an average of £634,321 and are down by 1.4% compared to a year ago. They also fell by 0.9% in the South East to £422,904 but are 1.8% up year on year, and fell by 0.8% in the West Midlands to £216,937 but are 3.7% up annually.

In general markets in the northern part of the country are doing better with an 11% rise year on year whereas markets in the South have seen prices rise by a smaller 3%. The biggest month on month rise was in Yorkshire and the Humber at 1.7% to £183,679 and asking prices are 3% higher than a year ago.

Prices increased by 1.3% in the North West and the East Midlands month on month to £188,313 and £208,127 and are 2.6% and 5.1% higher than the same month in 2017. They were also up 1.2% in the South West to £312,764 and up 3.6% year on year.

In the East of England asking prices increased by just 0.6% month on month to £351,276 but are still 3.8% higher than a year ago and in Wales they increased by 0.8% to £184,308 but are 0.5% down year on year.

In London the 2.4% monthly fall was the largest for June since 2010 and buyer activity remained subdued compared to boom years. But there are some signs of recovery from last year’s lows with the number of sales agreed up by 3% on the same time last year.

The first time buyer market, typically two bedroom homes, has seen asking prices surge, up 3.5% month on month and 5.5% year on year, the index also shows.

‘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,’ said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst.

‘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,’ he pointed out.

‘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,’ he explained.

‘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,’ he added.

‘Having said that, the historic under supply of the right property at the right price and ongoing strong housing demand are evidenced by buyer enquiries to agents picking up to a degree after the surprise election result. They were 3% higher on the Monday after the election than the Monday before, showing that people are getting on with addressing their housing needs,’ he concluded.

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