FT: House prices down 0.5% in July

08-08-2008

FT: House prices down 0.5% in July
House prices growth is now at the lowest level since February 1996, according to the latest research from the Financial Times (FT).

The average property prices slumped for the fifth consecutive months, down by 0.5 per cent during the course of July - dragging annual growth back to just 0.3 per cent.

While the price of an average house was £231,879 in February this year, it has since fallen by £5,587 to £226,292 in July; this takes the market average price back to where we were in August 2007.

"While our index shows house prices remain marginally higher than they were last year this is the lowest annual growth rate recorded since February 1996 and it is the eleventh month in succession in which the annual rate of increase has fallen in nominal terms," explained Peter Williams, chairman of Acadametrics, which carried out the research on behalf of the FT.

"Clearly in real terms - i.e. excluding the impact of inflation - the FT index is now negative."

This is the first time the FT index has entered negative territory, in real terms, during the recent slump.

As the index considered property purchased for cash, and not just mortgage funded acquisitions, it has consistently reported modest falls in comparison to figures from Halifax ad Nationwide.

In a regional sense London continues remains detached from the English and Welsh market as a whole.

While annual house price growth sits at 4.6 per cent in the capital, it is just 2.8 per cent in the south-east and 2.4 per cent in the north.

Four regions of England and Wales reported falls in house prices, with Wales and the East Midlands among the biggest losers with drops of 2.3 and 2.6 per cent respectively over the past year.

"Over the last two years we have regularly commented on the London market being out of line with all the other parts of England and Wales," added Mr Williams.

"This was true on the way up and it continues to be true on the way down. Excluding London, our monthly figure was -0.6 per cent and the annual rate would have been negative at -0.3 per cent."

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