House prices fall as sellers dry up
Rightmove's latest house price report says the number of people selling their homes is at an all-time low.
House prices have fallen by 0.8% in January, says estate agent website rightmove, as the number of people selling their homes falls to a record low.
The first week of the year saw a 1.4% increase in asking prices, which rightmove says is indicative of the low number of homes for sale at the moment.
However, it says that a shortage of mortgage finance means that homes that are priced too high won’t sell.
It also highlights the growing trend of ‘micro-markets’ across the country, where prices are driven by specific local conditions that may be very different to those just a few miles down the road.
London continues to buck the national trend, with prices up by 6.1% on January 2011. East Anglia (6%), Yorkshire and Humberside (3.8%), the south east of England (1.5%) and the north of England (0.4%) are the other regions that have seen some annual growth.
At the other end of the scale, prices in the West Midlands have fallen by 7.9% and by 4.6% in the East Midlands, although the other regions of England and Wales surveyed have seen more modest falls.
Rightmove says the average asking price in England and Wales is now £224,060.
It recorded less than one new listing per estate agent branch since the turn of the year. But it says that online searches on its website were up by 27% on this time last year, which it says is reflective of “pent-up demand”.
Rightmove has highlighted certain groups of people who it says will be the ‘winners’ in the housing market in 2012. They are: first-time buyers who have had some help with raising a deposit, people with a lot of equity in their current home, savvy buy-to-let investors, people selling properties “with a difference” and people selling in places where there is a particularly low number of homes for sale.
People who are renting but cannot afford to buy, people who don’t have a lot of equity in their current property and people selling properties in areas where there is lots of stock but whose properties are “ordinary” will be the biggest losers.
In a recent report, the Bank of England said it believed many mortgage lenders would be tightening their lending criteria this year due to the uncertainty in the economy.
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