Country houses for sale

Sales Levels Up While Prices Freeze

Average house prices have remained unchanged this month, which is the first time that Hometrack ? as opposed to many others in the property game ? has not recorded a price fall in 16 months.

The report says that effectively, prices in many parts of the country have been static: ?Over November average house prices remained unchanged in 84% of postcode districts covered by the survey whilst prices moved higher in just 4% of districts,? Hometrack says.

?Most of the rises were seen in the south of England, particularly in parts of inner London.?

But although prices seem largely unchanged, agents have been reporting increased buyer interest throughout the month, which has resulted in the first decline in the numbers of properties available for sale in well over a year, the report states.

However, the seasonal lull is beginning to bite, as less people register to get onto agents? books, a trend which Hometrack says is set to continue into the run up to Christmas.

?The housing market has been through a prolonged period of weakness in terms of both price growth and market activity over the last 18 months, primarily as a result of rising interest rates over late 2003 and 2004,? said Richard Donnell, Director of Research at Hometrack. ?Agents have reported a 2.5% fall in average values over the last 12 months whilst the average time taken to sell property has risen to a high of eight weeks.?

?A move to more realistic pricing, combined with the cut in interest rates has resulted in some pent-up demand feeding back into the market over recent months. This has pushed up levels of sales activity but had limited impact on average prices which are likely to remain unchanged over the next few months.?