Rightmove – House prices see first monthly fall of 2019
The price of property coming to market has fallen by 0.2% this month, the first monthly fall so far in 2019, Rightmove analysis shows.
The data also shows that fewer properties are coming to market, down by 7.8% this month compared with the same period a year ago, and fewer sales are being agreed (down by 4.6%).
However estate agents’ total average stock per branch is higher than at any time in the last four years, as a challenging market means it is taking longer to secure a buyer.
The figures show that the average time to secure a buyer is at 62 days, the highest at this time of year since 2013. Rightmove says this longer time to secure a buyer, coupled with higher property stocks, suggest that it will be “more of a buyers’ market in the second half of 2019”.
Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, commented: “The housing market fundamentals remain largely sound in many parts of the country, but the current political climate means that the crucial ingredient of confidence has been impaired, and that is causing some potential buyers and sellers to hesitate. With record employment, low interest rates and good mortgage availability, buyers have a lot in their favour apart from the lack of political certainty. Those who have postponed their purchase should note that estate agency branches have more sellers on their books than at any time for the last four years, so there should be more choice of properties to buy. It could be a good opportunity to negotiate a relative bargain in the second half of the year, if they can set aside the continuing Brexit distractions.
“Growing numbers of properties on agents’ books even though fewer properties are coming up for sale are evidence of a more challenging market, with more sellers competing to get their transaction over the line. With activity and prices often weaker in the second half of the year, it will be those sellers who are bold enough to price aggressively who will attract buyers with the confidence to act rather than hesitate. It would appear to be sellers in the upper end of the market who need to be boldest on pricing, as data shows that the middle and lower sectors are holding up better.”
Source: Financial Reporter