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UK Property Asking Prices Fall By £26,000 as Housing Market Slows Down

New research has revealed that the market price of nearly two out of every five properties for sale in the UK has gone down by over £26,000.

According to property website Zoopla, sellers have lowered the price of 37.9% of properties, up from 32.4% reported in April. It is being seen as proof that the British housing market is slowing down.

This property market outlook suggests that there are differences across regions, with London slowing down whole Manchester and Glasgow perform well.

In London, 39.5% of listed property prices have gone down, compared to 34.6% in April. In Mitcham, asking prices have been reduced by 45%, which is the highest of any borough in the capital. Kensington and Chelsea, where some of the most expensive homes are located, registered an average reduction of £127,394.

The highest proportion of reduced list prices was registered in Brighton at 46% while Glasgow and Manchester had a more positive property market outlook with decreases of 19% and 26% respectively.

The research found that Bradford, London, and Newcastle upon Tyne had the highest percentages taken off the original sale price. Across the country, the average discount is £26,131.

Zoopla representative Lawrence Hall said that the research results should be welcome news for aspiring homeowners trying to get a foot on the property ladder. He said with the property market outlook being so uncertain at the moment, it would be interesting to see whether these reduced prices go up in the coming months.

The research is further confirmation that there is a decline in the UK housing market, especially in London and the more expensive areas of southeast England.

According to the recent figures from Your Move, property price growth in England and Wales reached a six and a half-year low in September, with prices falling throughout the southeast.

The average property price went up 0.9% to £302,626, which is lower from a yearly increase of 4.5% recorded in September 2016.

The total number of transactions fell 16% per month, with approximately 72,500 sales completed in September.

The country is still coping with a housing shortage as construction lags behind the growing population in the UK, but demand has been restrained because many first-time buyers are stretched while 2016 tax changes have made buy-to-let investing less profitable.

Source: CRL

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Buyers eye up Christmas offers as prices slip in November

Homeowners hoping to sell their house are slashing prices and expectations, in a move that signals a boon for buyers in the run-up to the festive season.

Property prices tumbled 1.7 per cent this month, marking the largest November drop since 2012, with London’s stagnant housing market continuing to see a sharper decline than any other UK region.

While prices typically edge down ahead of the Christmas period, today’s data from Rightmove signals a higher-than-usual drop as sellers lower their demands in a bid to lure in cautious buyers amid Brexit uncertainty and wage stagnation.

Inner London’s house prices saw the sharpest monthly fall, with values from October to November dropping 2.5 per cent to an average £754, 726. However, the lowering of prices has signalled a slight uptick in activity, with a modest one per cent rise in the number of November sales compared with the same month last year.

“Some new-to-the-market sellers and their agents have acted early to try to improve the buying mood and avoid the traditional “buyer humbug” dislike of Christmas housing activity,” according to Rightmove director Miles Shipside.

He added: “While many thought that the down-to-the-wire Brexit deal uncertainty would hold people back from buying, more buyers have actually jumped in. Some buyers see this pre-Christmas price lull as a gift to their negotiations. It proves that people need to get on with their lives and will continue to buy homes if the underlying economic fundamentals remain strong.”

Prime Central London’s market has seen one of the most noticeable price drops in the last 12 months, underlined by a slowdown in high end residential areas such as Kensington.

Stamp duty and market volatility have helped deter a swathe of wealthy buyers looking to snap up homes in the capital, with a recent LonRes study showing prices across prime London dipped three per cent in the third quarter of 2018 in the wake of greater buyer uncertainty.

Source: City A.M.

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Estate agents facing pressure as housing market cools and online players expand

Estate agents could be next on the high street casualty list, with more set to experience financial difficulty as the housing market cools and online firms move onto their turf.

Experts at accountancy giant KPMG reckon that pressures on high street agents will come to a head in the second half of the year, piling further pain on town centres reeling from hundreds of retail store closures.

Blair Nimmo, KPMG’s head of restructuring in the UK, said: “High street estate agents are presently facing an unprecedented set of challenges.

“The rise of online-only agencies have combined with falling house prices, a general slowdown in sale activity and a raft of legislative changes, all of which have generated headwinds for your average high street agent.

“I would therefore not be surprised to see operators across this sector struggle over the second half of the year and beyond.”

High street strugglers

  • House of Fraser
  • Maplin
  • Toys R Us
  • New Look
  • Carpetright
  • Mothercare
  • Jamie’s Italian Byron

Profits at the likes of Foxtons have come under intense pressure recently, with the London property market slowing considerably since the Brext vote.

Britain’s biggest listed estate agency Countrywide, which is behind Hamptons and Bairstow Eves, is also in full-blown crisis as it seeks to raise emergency funding.

It comes as the rise of online firms such as Purplebricks, Emoov and Tepilo has eaten into the market share of bricks and mortar firms.

The high street has been pummelled this year by several high profile retail administrations and store closure programmes.

House of Fraser, Maplin and Toys R Us have all gone bust, while New Look, Carpetright and Mothercare have all shut stores.

The casual dining space has also come under pressure, with Jamie’s Italian and Byron among the firms to close restaurants.

“We continue to see companies in the casual dining and retail spaces battle hard in the face of changing consumer attitudes towards spending, coupled with increased costs as a result of the living wage and business rates pressures,” Mr Nimmo said.

“Whilst a number of chains have survived through the implementation of successful CVAs or via pre-pack administrations, inevitably there have been site closures and job losses across many parts of the country.”

But a study by KPMG of notices in the London Gazette shows the total number of companies in England and Wales entering into administration during the second quarter of 2018 fell sharply.

A total of 302 companies went into administration between April and June 2018, compared with 347 in the previous quarter, a fall of 13%.

Year-on-year, the number was up from 297 administrations seen during the same period in 2017.

Mr Nimmo added: “The latest figures reflect a relatively positive picture for most businesses.

“For the most part, adopting a long-term cautious approach appears to be paying off for the majority of firms, although sectoral-specific challenges and broader global economic changes will inevitably force some businesses to reconsider their operations and potentially restructure their organisations to improve efficiencies.”

Source: Shropshire Star