United Kingdom house prices have edged up just £300 in July

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

Nearly half of estate agency stock has been sold subject to contract so far this year, as buyer demand continues to outweigh supply, Rightmove has reported. But there are some signs of recovery from last year's lows with the number of sales agreed up by 3% on the same time last year.

Jeremy Duncombe, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: "Today's figures mirror the slowing of house price growth that we saw in the recent RICS survey, but activity in the mortgage market remains strong - and the property market outside of London and the South East continues to show healthy growth".

More than half the unitary authority areas in England in Wales - 60 out of 108 - reported prices falling over the month.

This reversed the 0.4% dip taken by average prices last month and means average prices in July are 2.8% higher than in the same month previous year. The average asking price climbed to £316,421 (S$567,612), a "relatively subdued" 2.8 per cent increase from a year earlier.

Rightmove said asking prices in most of England fell, but the overall average inched up due to gains in London contrasting with a sharp fall in June in the capital.

He added that the market was being bolstered by solid fundamentals of low unemployment, low interest rates, strong demand and historic undersupply of homes, which reduced the effect of any wobbles in confidence; "as a result almost half the properties on the market, over 45%, have sold signs slapped across them".

The gulf between average incomes and average property prices is now wider than ever.

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Property experts believe that buyers have hit their price ceiling as double-digit house price growth has far outpaced wages over the past five years.

Mr Shipside said: 'Wage growth is muted, there are signs that consumer credit is tightening, and at some point there will be the first rise in mortgage interest rates for a decade or more which will come as a shock to buyers who have either forgotten or have never experienced interest rates going up as well as down.

The report also says home buyers are encountering more "sold" boards slapped on properties than at any other time in the last seven years.

Rightmove found the number of sales agreed is up by 4.6% in June 2017 compared to June 2016, and the number of sellers coming to market is also up on the same period a year ago, with a 7.6% increase in fresh choice.

This reversed the 0.4 per cent drop in monthly asking prices in June.

"Prices are in the summer doldrums", said Mr Shipside. "High demand will continue to underpin prices, but we are seeing stretched affordability limiting the pace of rises, especially in the south of the country".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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