Property Prices are Still Falling…Except in LondonMake Text Bigger
The latest home price survey reveals a no-holds-barred analysis of the property market.
Prices in England and Wales fell for the fourth month running in July – by 0.1% on prices in June, according to the Acadametrics house price index.
The average home value is now £217,300 and in the 12 months to July, prices dropped by 2.6%.
Despite estate agents and lenders blaming supply, demand, the weather and mortgage availability for the state of the market, the underlying figures show:
- London is the only region to see consistent price increases in the past four years – but even that 5.6% growth is a 7.5% fall in real terms when earlier price drops are factored in.
- Prices have dropped in 85 out of 108 unitary council areas – except inner London and wealthier enclaves elsewhere
- Low mortgage rates are only available to borrowers with pristine credit, with the result lenders are cherry-picking the lowest risk customers
- House sales are running at around 50,000-60,000 per month – which is about 58% of the long term average.
Dr Peter Williams, housing market specialist and chairman of Acadametrics, said: “The market is moving backwards, taking with it the modest gains seen in 2010 and in the early months of 2011. That said, the July 2011 price is still significantly higher than the £200,234 to which the average fell in April 2009, at the low point in the last recession.”
David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, the firm sponsoring the index, explained the findings reveal the market is not in free-fall, but remains weak.
“The number of properties sold in the second quarter of 2011 was 5.9% down on the same period of 2010. This is primarily a result of the continuing restriction on demand from tight mortgage lending criteria.
“Lenders worried about the economic picture in the UK and beyond are reluctant to return to high-volume lending at high loan-to-values.
“This hasn’t stopped lenders taking advantage of low interest rates to compete for market share of borrowers who are considered a safe bet.”
“Nationally, prices have fallen in real terms by just over 17%. This has significantly reduced homeowners’ ability to fund additional spending through equity release, but means cash buyers and low loan-to-value borrowers will find property great value.”
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