'Broadly stable' housing market with positive signs for 2013
According to Rightmove, this month sees a drop of 2.6% (-£6,407) in the asking prices of properties coming to market, following the now familiar post-credit-crunch pattern of falls in November.However, this is the least severe November fall since 2009 and still leaves prices 2% (+£4,617) ahead of where they were this time last year – the highest annual rate of increase achieved in November for five years. London continues to buck the national trend, but, even with the large lift in London prices removed, the rest of the country is broadly stable (+0.2%) year-on-year. This, alongside some favourable signs from other lead indicators, suggests a somewhat brighter outlook for 2013 as we enter the traditional winter slowdown.
Positive signs for the market include:
- Search activity on the Rightmove website is up by 20% on the same period last year, as homemovers step-up their search and research.
- Resulting email enquiries to estate agents and developers in October were up by 11% compared to the same time 12 months ago, delivering more sales opportunities.
- Mortgage approvals were up 9.2% over the last quarter according to the latest Bank of England statistics, suggesting more successful sales completions in the pipeline.
- Property availability is tightening in lower price bands, with new stock coming to market in the typical first-time buyer and investor brackets priced at £150,000 and below down by 5% on a year ago. This is a likely contributory factor in terrace and flat property types seeing the greatestannual increases, up 4.4% and 4.3% year-on-year respectively.
Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove comments:
“Though the market remains patchy and national statistics are given a gloss by a buoyant London market, there are a number of positive trends that justify cautious optimism as the market enters its’ winter recess. Outside the capital, agents report prices are broadly flat in many parts of the country compared to a year ago. This stability may indicate a sounder springboard for 2013 as the wait goes on for a sustainable recovery in transaction numbers.”