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May 17, 2010    

House sellers respond to rising stock levels

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by Gill Montia

Rightmove has reported that the week before the General Election saw the highest number of new sellers entering the UK property market since June 2008.

However, the property portal observes that the lack of mortgage finance is now beginning to tell, with 2010 unsold stock levels continue an “inexorable rise”.

As a result, new sellers are being cautious over asking prices which saw a seasonally low rise of 0.7% during the period 11th April to 8th May 2010, taking the average vendor’s ambitions to £237,134.

With seller confidence weakening, the annual rate of increase stood at 4.3%.

The firm’s commercial director, Miles Shipside, comments: “While sellers don’t appear to be put off, the rising levels of unsold stock indicate that buyers are not as willing or able to act upon their pent-up moving desires”.

In May, Rightmove measured a substantial jump in the average unsold stock level per estate agency branch, which increased from 68 to 71 in a third consecutive monthly rise.

The firm is therefore sticking with its forecast that house prices will remain broadly flat in 2010, with gains in the first half of the year falling away in the second half.

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