Asking prices fell in England and Wales in the 12 months to July 2019

Asking prices fell by 0.4% in the year to July 2019 in England and Wales but in London and elsewhere there are signs of an improvement in the housing market, according to the latest index report.

Month on month asking prices rose in all English regions except the West Midlands where there was no change, and in Wales and Scotland driven mainly by aspiration and tightening supply but not increasing demand, says the report from

Month on month prices in England and Wales increased by 0.3%. But the annual figure is much weaker. In the 12 months to July 2018 the growth was 1.3% but now it is negative.

In London the market looks to be on the mend with asking prices up for a fifth month in a row. The report says that caution on the part of vendors has cut the supply of new instructions by nearly a quarter in the capital. Fewer properties for sale affords London a timely realignment of supply and demand, thereby preparing the road to recovery after more than three years of sliding prices.

There has also been an improvement in other measures in London with three consecutive monthly reductions in the typical time on market and a reduction of total stock for sale of around 19%.

Meanwhile, the adjacent regions of the East and South East remain firmly in the grip of their respective price corrections, although the South West, often a beneficiary of improvements in the London market, is already showing some signs of recovery.

The slowdown continues to gradually spread through the regions. Rising time on the market figures and slowing growth indicate that the East and West Midlands are heading towards a period of price correction after several years of unsustainable growth.

Later still in the property cycle, the North West and Yorkshire regions are also slowing but, owing to more restrained growth over recent years, these regions do not look likely to undergo a significant price correction, although some buy-to-let hotspots may suffer capital depreciation.

The North East, meanwhile, has achieved growth of 2% since July 2018 but rising. Time on the market suggests that these gains will be pared back yet again. However, the Scottish housing market is also slower than this time last year but considerable variation in market vigour is evident.

Only Wales, currently the UK’s best performing region, has achieved growth ahead of inflation during the last 12 months, but the housing market is now slowing down. Much momentum remains but properties are now spending slightly longer on the market than they were a year ago, the report points out.

Supply of new instructions was down in all regions, with the biggest fall of 23% in London, the data also shows.