The housing market is continuing to cool down, according to the latest figures from online estate agency, Rightmove.co.uk.
The data, showing trends up to 11 April, highlights a drop in house price increases from 22.5% last month to 17.8% this month. The downward trend in the year-on-year figures is set to continue over the next few months as this year’s flattening market contrasts with the huge rises seen last year.
On a monthly basis, prices were up 0.5% on average, with the biggest regional fall seen in East Anglia (-2.1%). The greatest gain was seen in Wales (3.3%). The changes put average property asking prices at £161, 370.
Miles Shipside, commercial director at Rightmove.co.uk, commented: ‘There is a clear pick-up in interest among prospective buyers and deals are being struck if prices are reasonable. With larger numbers of properties on the market and sellers increasingly willing to price realistically, it is a very good market for the buyer. Prices are hardly moving, and while it is a far cry from last year’s boom, it is looking less and less likely that house prices will slide this year.’
However, The Woolwich said borrowers still feared future house price moves. It said confidence in the housing market had fallen for the fifth consecutive month in March, and that the number of homeowners who felt prices would rise was 50%, compared to 53% in February and 63% in October.
Andy Gray, head of lending at The Woolwich, said: ‘This month’s confidence figures reinforce the view that homeowners are becoming increasingly aware that the house market boom is coming to an end.’
Although Gray felt borrowers were still uncertain, he was confident the low-interest rate would ensure affordability and help avoid any sharp correction in house prices.