The Monthly UK house price statistics for July are in – Here are our main takeaways…
As we enter the second half of the year, we normally expect the market to weaken slightly and as the school break begin and peoples thoughts turn more to holidays, this can be a time of year when sales slow down slightly too. The figures for July show the first fall this year of asking prices for properties new to the market when looking at the nationwide picture. The average UK asking price for properties new to the market has fallen by 0.2% (-£656), month on moth; the first fall so far in 2019.
Of the UK regions, the South West is one of only three regions (along with Scotland and the East of England) to buck this trend with an increase in the month of 0.3% bringing the average price of a newly marketed property to £312,176.
There has been a corresponding drop in new properties coming on to the market with 7.8% fewer instructions when compared to July last year. In addition, There has also been an increase in the amount of time it takes to secure a buyer which has led to the average stock per agent increasing. The hesitancy in the market seems mainly due to uncertainty, as the other factors which often affect the market are generally sound with low mortgage rates, high mortgage approvals and high employment.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: “The housing market fundamentals remain largely sound in many parts of the country, but the current political climate means that the crucial ingredient of confidence has been impaired, and that is causing some potential buyers and sellers to hesitate. With record employment, low interest rates and good mortgage availability, buyers have a lot in their favour apart from the lack of political certainty. Those who have postponed their purchase should note that estate agency branches have more sellers on their books than at any time for the last four years, so there should be more choice of properties to buy. It could be a good opportunity to negotiate a relative bargain in the second half of the year, if they can set aside the continuing Brexit distractions.”
It is the prices in the Top of the Ladder sector which have seen the biggest reduction in prices at 1.1% in July, this is in contrast to the First Time Buyer sector which has remained the same in July and the Second Stepper market which has seen a modest 0.2% increase in asking prices. Activity at the top of the market also seems to have slowed the most with the First Time Buyer and Second Stepper markets remaining relatively buoyant and active, despite the ongoing political machinations.
Miles Shipside adds: “While buoyant mortgage approvals indicate more resilient activity in the lower and middle sectors, it is the cash-rich in the upper end who appear most hesitant to engage. They are often discretionary buyers, whose needs for more space or the motivation for a change of location can be postponed. As a result, sellers in the upper end have had to drop their prices more both month-on-month and year-on-year, suggesting that the best bargain opportunities in the second half of 2019 for canny buyers could be in this price sector.”
If it is time for a move, or if you are interested to find out whether there has been a change in the value of your property, Get in touch with us for a free property consultation. For more advice on selling or just for an informal chat, pop in to one of our local offices.
First Time Buyer: This figure represents the typical property a first-time buyer would purchase, covering all two bed properties and smaller that come to market (houses and flats).
Second Stepper: This figure represents the typical property of a person moving from their first home, covering all three and four bed properties that come to market (houses and flats) excluding four bed detached houses.
Top of the ladder: This figure represents asking prices at the top end of the market, covering all five bed properties and above (houses and flats), as well as four bed detached houses.