Hometrack: House prices fall eighth consecutive month

| March 3, 2011
Hometrack: House prices fall eighth consecutive month

According to housing intelligence group, Hometrack, house prices in England and Wales fell for the eighth consecutive month in February.

According to Hometrack, house prices fell by 0.2% on the month – however, this was the smallest decline for six months.

On an annual basis, meanwhile, house prices were 2.7% lower in February – the biggest fall since November 2009.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, comments: “With supply likely to remain in check, it is the outlook for demand that will have the greatest impact on pricing levels and market activity in the coming months.

“We expect a continued modest pick-up in demand over March but the timing of interest rate rises is critical.”

In stark contrast, the Nationwide Building Society recently reported a 0.3% rise in house prices for the month of February compared with January.

In the meantime, Hometrack reported a 7.5% increase in the number of instructions being put on the market in February – this represented the largest increase in three years.

Furthermore, estate agents reported a 25% increase in sales for the month – suggesting a pick-up leading to the traditional spring bounce.

However, many surveys point to a subdued housing market and the majority of economists expect house prices to fall steadily throughout 2011 – particularly in light of the uncertainty regarding the economy and the Government’s spending cuts.

Furthermore, the ongoing mortgage rationing by lenders means the housing market is expected to remain weak this year.

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