New buyer enquiries flood in at Rightmove

| February 16, 2009
New buyer enquiries flood in at Rightmove

Rightmove has reported a surge in new buyer enquiries in January.

According to the UK’s largest property website, new buyer enquiries rose by 108% last month, compared with a year earlier.

The firm’s spokesman, Miles Shipside, believes the rise indicates pent up demand on the part of prospective home movers, however, sales figures are not yet showing an improvement, despite Nationwide’s January house price index tracking a 16.6% annual fall in the average cost of a home.

Meanwhile, vendors are still finding it difficult to come to terms with the collapse of the market, with Rightmove’s research showing a 1.2% increase in asking prices in February, compared with a month earlier.

This optimism on the part of homeowners fails to acknowledge the state of the UK mortgage market, where lenders remain extremely cautious and continue to demand large deposits for the best deals.

Earlier this month, the desperate need for increased mortgage lending was highlighted by a report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

The “Think Tank” is predicting that house prices will see a peak-to-trough decline of 40% unless government measures can increase new mortgage lending volumes to 50,000 a month, up from the 31,000 recorded in December by the Bank of England.

Even then, the CEBR expects the average property to see 32% wiped off its value from the peak of the market in summer 2007 through to the first quarter of 2010.

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