The average asking price for houses has fallen over the last month – by 0.6% – for the first time since January 2003, according to property website rightmove.co.uk.
Annual house price inflation has dropped to 9.1% for September, down from 12.4% in August and 13.2% in July, marking the ninth consecutive monthly fal. It claims that in Greater London, the average house price is now £251,472, with asking prices down 2.8% on the previous month. This decline has been mirrored in western parts of the country with prices down 3.5% in the North West and 1.7% in the South West. However, in Wales, prices were up 3.5% and in the East Midlands they rose 1.7%.
Miles Shipside, commercial director at Rightmove, said this average drop in prices was good news for the market. He said: “This month, for the first time since January, average asking prices are down marginally and annual price inflation has dropped below 10%. We are starting to see more vendors being realistic with prices and that is enough to entice buyers back through the door. As activity picks up towards the autumn and the number of buyers grows, it is becoming a good market for sensibly priced sellers.”
However, the figures contrast with those issued by the Government’s new House Price Index which reports UK annual house price inflation to be on the increase. Its first figures put inflation at 14.6% in July, up from 13.4% in June. These new figures are being published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on an experimental basis, and will undergo a quality audit in the autumn in anticipation of becoming a ‘national statistic’ next year.