‘Boom Times Are Over’

Tuesday, August 10 2004

The property market’s weakening health has been confirmed by Hometrack’s review of the housing market over the last 12 months, released today.

The report highlighted a series of recent trends that all point towards an imminent downturn in the property market, including:

  • The first fall in house prices since July 2003 recorded last month.
  • Increasing supply, with new property listings rising by 3% in June and 5% in July.
  • Diminishing demand, with new buyers falling 4% in July.

Less of a ‘seller’s market’, illustrated by three consecutive monthly falls in the average sales price achieved as a percentage of asking price, coupled with recent decreases in numbers of sales agreed.

Less activity in the market, demonstrated by a recent increase in the average time taken to sell, decreasing average viewings per sale, and a higher likelihood of agreed prices being downvalued by surveyors.

John Wriglesworth, Hometrack’s Housing Economist, said: ‘Seldom in recent years have so many statistics, relating to the health of the housing market, all told the same story: the boom is over. The recent hike in interest rates, scaremongering speeches by the Bank of England Governor, as well as over-hyped newspaper articles have all combined to bring the housing market train to the buffers.’