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.’