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House prices stall as average price tags dip £1,000 - Rightmove

Press Association logoPress Association 19/06/2017 By Vicky Shaw, Press Association Personal Finance Correspondent
House prices © PA WIRE House prices

Spring house price momentum stalled in June as the average price tag on a property coming to market dipped by more than £1,000 month-on-month, according to Rightmove.

Across England and Wales, the average asking price was £316,109 in June, marking a 0.4% or £1,172 fall compared with May, amid signs that it is becoming more of a "buyers' market" in some areas, the property website said.

It was the first fall seen in the month of June since 2009 - at the height of the credit crunch - Rightmove said. It is also the first monthly decline in asking prices it has seen this year so far.

The annual rate of asking prices also slowed in June, to 1.8% - the lowest rate since April 2013.

Asking price growth in June was dragged down by London and the South East of England, with their large housing markets exerting a strong influence over the national figures.

Rightmove said growth would have been in positive territory had it not been for these two "slower-performing" regions. Asking prices were down month-on-month by 2.4% in London and by 0.9% in the South East.

By contrast, asking prices were up month-on-month in June by 1.7% in Yorkshire and the Humber, by 1.3% in the North West of England and the East Midlands, by 1.2% in the South West of England, by 0.7% in the North East of England and by 0.8% in Wales.

In the West Midlands, asking prices dipped by 0.8% month-on-month - the only other region apart from London and the South East to see asking prices fall in June.

Those aspiring to get on the property ladder may welcome the general asking price dip. However, price tags on typical first-time buyer properties with two bedrooms or less bucked the general trend, jumping by 3.5% month-on-month in June to reach £199,943 on average. 

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: "Increasing prices in this sector have not been enough to shake off the wish to own your first home, whilst in contrast sectors higher up the ladder with a larger proportion of discretionary movers have seen the greatest recent price wobbles."

He continued: "It now seems certain that we will have continuing political uncertainty, which the housing market traditionally dislikes, and with the first fall in June prices for eight years there is no doubt that the lack of stability is a factor.

"The price of property coming to the market had increased in June in every year since 2009, so buyer confidence has clearly been affected by inflation outstripping their pay packets and current political events.

"However, demand is still high and markets in some parts of the country seem to be getting used to coping with instability and are still strong."

Rightmove said that Northern house price markets appear to be "motoring ahead", with agreed sales across these regions up by 11% year-on-year, compared with a 3% upswing in the South.

Mr Shipside said: "The swingometer may be leaning towards a buyers' market in some parts of the country, having been given another tilt in that direction by political uncertainty, but demand for housing and lack of buyer choice are maintaining a sellers' market in others.

"London and its commuter belt are proving to be a drag on the national figures, but are currently counter-balanced by continuing momentum in other parts of the country.

"Markets traditionally slow in the second half of the year, and with a slowing in the pace of asking price rises and the forthcoming months of political and economic confusion, the usual slower market in the second half of the year seems to be one of the few certainties in 2017."

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