Rightmove reports fall in house prices
Property website Rightmove recorded a drop in the average asking price for residential property this month, representing the first fall since January.
Average prices have fallen by 1.7 per cent, a drop of £4,138, with demand low due to the wet weather deterring potential buyers from viewing properties.
The website also blamed the Olympics for distracting people’s focus away from moving.
There were twice as many people trying to sell a property than those trying to buy one, Righmove said, with each branch of the agency having 75 homes they were unable to sell.
The company warned that further price cuts could be necessary to secure a sale.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “The fact that we have not seen major price falls in the UK and that many areas are not awash with ‘For Sale’ boards may lead some sellers to be over-optimistic with their pricing.
“New seller numbers may be down some 30% on the period prior to credit-crunch, but the numbers achieving a successful sale are down by half and average unsold stock levels are creeping up.”
The West Midlands was the only region in England and Wales where prices increased in July compared with the previous month – with asking prices up 2 per cent to £191,121.
In contrast, prices fell the most in London, compared with the previous month, with a fall of 3.6 per cent to £460,304.
However, while it seems to be a buyers’ market at the moment, there are a number of places in Britain where property is becoming less affordable.
A study by the Halifax, comparing property prices with local pay levels, found the London Borough of Brent to be the least affordable place to buy a house in Britain, followed by Oxford in second place.
The average price of a home in Brent is 8.8 times the average local income, while in Oxford it is 7.6 times greater.
Estate agents in Oxford say a shortage of housing in the city has pushed prices up, while buyers have struggled to secure an affordable mortgage since the credit crunch.