Hometrack: House prices lowest for decade


Hometrack: House prices lowest for decade
The latest research from property information service Hometrack find the rate of decline in UK property prices has continued to accelerate.

The property intelligence organisation recorded an annual fall of 4.4 per cent in property prices in July.

This is the lowest annual rate of growth since the survey began in 2001, and illustrates an increase in the speed of decline from the 3.2 and 1.9 per cent falls recorded in June and May.

Prices fell 1.2 per cent between July and June alone, with falls located largely in the south-east of England.

"Indicators of market activity across the housing market remain weak with the survey highlighting a 20 per cent drop in demand over the last three months," commented Richard Donnell, Hometrack's director of research.

The number of buyers registering with estate agents fell by 6.4 per cent in July, following similar declines in the two prior months.

These figures support those of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), which show property transactions have now fallen to historically low levels.

"Transaction volumes have been the greatest casualty of the decline in demand over the last 12 months - the vast majority of homeowners simply do not need to move," said Mr Donnell.

"This is also reflected in the fact there has been no major expansion in the supply of homes for sale over the last quarter."

Homes now sit on the market for an average of 11 weeks, showing a slight increase over the last two months, according to Hometrack.

Furthermore, homes now achieve just 90.9 per cent of their asking prices, down from 92.8 per cent in May.

"With no immediate end in sight to the current uncertainty, activity levels are likely to remain suppressed with prices remaining under pressure into the autumn," concluded Mr Donnell.

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