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British Summer Causes a fall in Asking Prices

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The miserable summer weather that we have been experiencing has wiped an average of £4,138 (1.7%) off the asking prices of property in the UK.  This data comes from the property search website, Rightmove, who said that asking prices tumbled to an average of £242,097 during the first half of July.  It is the biggest fall for the summer month since 2008, but prices remain 2.3% higher than they were twelve months ago.

New sellers are outnumbering actual sales by two to one, prompting tough competition between vendors.  Rightmove says that a potential buyer spends just 2.7 seconds looking at a seller’s advert before deciding whether to investigate or move on.  Sales are running at 56,220 per month, according to the Land Registry’s figures, and Rightmove is seeing more than 102,000 homes coming on the market every month.

Rightmove director, Miles Shipside said: “Those keen to sell this summer have the challenging confluence of miserable viewing weather, the continuing credit crunch plus a sporting distraction of Olympic proportions.”  The study also said that the number of unsold homes per estate agency branch stood at a “stubbornly high” 75.

This survey goes against the norm, in that the West Midlands was the only region in England and Wales to record a rise in asking  prices – up 2% to an average of £191,121.  Normally it is London property that remains buoyant whilst most other regions struggle; the capital saw the biggest monthly fall of 3.6% with asking prices down to £460,304.  However, this isolated blip still leaves property prices in London at 6.4% more than a year ago.

Research by the Office of National Statistics suggests that the property market is not just split by locations, but also by the type of house.  It suggests that new builds are rising in value faster than the price of pre-owned homes; they rose in price by 5.1% over a period of one year, whilst the older variety rose by just 1.1%.

One other survey of interest comes from Barclays bank; it concluded that getting on the property ladder results in huge financial benefits over a person’s lifetime.  Owning a home, rather than renting will save the homeowner £194,000 over a 50 year period.  Scant consolation for those first-time buyers still struggling to save up that all-important deposit.

Sources: thisismoney.co.uk, Barclays.co.uk, ons.gov.uk (image courtesy of liveskyline.com)