15:03 PM, 27th October 2010, About 12 years ago
The first house price statistics for September have hit the streets – showing average prices have notched up just a superficial 0.1%.
The figures from the Nationwide also show the three-month house price trend has slipped in to negative equity for the first time since May 2009 – down a modest 0.9%.
The decrease is not too worrying for property investors and homeowners, as this is a minor blip rather than a shift in the market and reflects a seasonal price drift during the summer.
According to the Nationwide, the average price of a home is now £166,507, which is a negative adjustment of just £250 on August’s figure.
Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “September proved to be an uneventful month for house prices. The seasonally adjusted price index for a typical UK property was essentially unchanged in September, edging up by a marginal 0.1% from its August level.
“The three month on three month rate of change – a good indicator of the near term price trend – fell from 0.0% in August to -0.9% in September. This represents the first negative reading for the three-month rate of change since May 2009 and is consistent with the clear loosening of housing market conditions observed over the summer months.”
The Nationwide report explained that the three-month house price trend recorded a 5.5% drop in 2008 without any real effect on the market.
“Where house prices go next will depend on whether the strong flow of new property onto the market continues into the autumn, and on the extent to which existing sellers are willing to compromise on their asking price in order to make a quicker sale,” said Mr Gahbauer.
“Many of the new sellers who have marketed their properties may be speculative sellers testing the market in response to the price gains seen since early 2009 and the abolition of Home Information Packs (HIPs).
“If this is the case, and there is little urgency to sell for financial or other reasons, then prices may remain more or less stable, albeit at the expense of market activity. The housing market would then be characterised by a stalemate situation with low levels of liquidity and little change in house prices.
“If, on the other hand, most of the new sellers in the market are keen to sell more quickly, then the recent slight downward trend in prices may continue.”
This confusion in the market makes it an excellent time to buy. Property prices have been subdued by lack of available finance for some time now but it’s only a matter of time before this position corrects itself. Then what will happen to prices? Our advice is, if you have the ability to start buying, get on with it.
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