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Rightmove: House prices to flatten in 2019

Rightmove has predicted flat house price growth of 0% in 2019.

It said the prediction is based on the sound fundamentals of the housing market in combination with increased political and economic uncertainty.

Not that prices will be flat across the board, as Rightmove said the Northern half of the UK will see prices rise by 2-4%, while London commuter belt regions should see prices fall by around 2%.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Since the property market’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, many parts of the Northern half of the UK have seen marginal or relatively modest price increases.

“We predict that these areas will continue to see price rises, though tempered by affordability constraints. In contrast, regions in and around the influence of London saw prices go up in a five-year period by an average of around 40%.

“Consequently, we forecast that these previously booming areas will continue to see modest downward price re-adjustments in 2019.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Rightmove: UK property prices fall 1.7%, largest drop in six years

UK property pricing coming to market have fallen by £5222 this month, representing a 1.7% decline and the largest drop since November 2012, according to the latest Rightmove house price index data.

With Christmas fast approaching leaving many more strapped for cash and on-going uncertainty surrounding Brexit, new sellers are pricing ‘more realistically’ to offset pre-Xmas ‘buyer humbug’ syndrome, the online estate agent and property website said.

‘New sellers and their agents are reacting to market forces and lowering their pricing aspirations by more and sooner than usual,’ Rightmove Director Miles Shipside said. ‘Stretched buyer affordability and the cooling markets in the south and in upper price brackets have combined with the ongoing political uncertainty to change pricing optimism into pricing realism.

‘This is a welcome effort by sellers to minimise the usual pre-Christmas market slowdown. 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,’ he added.

Christmas comes early for home buyers

The larger than average decrease in house prices is sharper with the UK economy showing signs of cooling down with retail sales falling this quarter.

Housing prices fell across all regions of the UK, but the most significant decline was seen in the south of England.

The average asking price fell from £307,245 to 302,023, with homes at the top of the housing ladder seeing an average decline of 2.4%, down to 531,775 from 545,020, according to the Rightmove’s house price index.

‘While many thought that the down-to-the-wire Brexit deal uncertainty would hold people back from buying, more buyers have actually jumped in,’ Shipside said.

‘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,’ he added.

Source: IG

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Sellers struggling to shift property swiftly

The average price of a property coming on to the market in January is up by nearly £2,000 compared with December, but sales are down by 5.5 per cent on the same period a year ago.

This is according to Rightmove, which tracks 90 per cent of the UK property market.

Rightmove reported there had been a “busy start” to 2018, with more than 4 million visits a day to its site, up nearly a tenth on last year.

The annual rate of price increase in newly-marketed property is 1.1 per cent, although at a more local level prices are running 4 to 6 per cent up in some regions, with only London (minus 3.5 per cent) recording a year-on-year fall.

But sellers may be being over-optimistic in their pricing and may have to reduce the price tag for their property in order to find buyers.

Rightmove reported the average time to sell a property has jumped to 67 days compared to 55 days last summer.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Considering some of the gales that buffeted the market in the latter part of 2017, these early readings for 2018 show that there is currently a good following wind of search activity.

“To keep this year’s initial buyer momentum with you rather than against, serious sellers should note that all regions are currently selling at a slower rate than a year ago, indicating choosier buyers.

“The total number of sales agreed was 5.5 per cent down in the last quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.

“Setting tempting asking prices and then quickly reducing them if there is little initial interest will be key to turning this promising level of buyer activity into actual sales, especially in the less active sectors and locations of the UK.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Despite continued year-on-year house price growth, 2018 is off to a realistic start.

“House price growth is now far more in line with inflation than in previous years, and couple this with competitive mortgage rates and a stamp duty exemption, first-time buyers should find it that little bit easier to get on the property ladder.

“Whilst we expect to see house price inflation remain at their current steady levels, we encourage would-be buyers to speak with a mortgage broker, who will be able to provide them with a better understanding of the thousands of products on the market and help them find the best product to suit their needs.”

Source: FT Adviser