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Asking prices hit by ‘unseasonal’ fall

  • 18/05/2015
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Asking prices hit by ‘unseasonal’ fall
Asking prices during May fell for the first time in five years, with the housing market pausing ahead of the general election.

Data from property portal Rightmove said the average asking price for new homes coming to market was down 0.1% this month, a drop of £242 in cash terms.

This was the first May price fall since the last general election in 2010. The firm described the drop as ‘unseasonal’. This figure compares with a 2.1% increase a year ago.

New sellers coming to market increased rapidly following the last election and the firm said it anticipates a similar surge in the coming months.

The Conservative government has no plans to introduce a mansion tax and this is expected to stimulate the prime market sector.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said that pre-election jitters had finally come home to roost in the final weeks of electioneering, with the average price of property in May dropping for the first time in five years.

“This is an election-driven price stall which gives some buyers only short-term relief from the back-drop of a long-term housing shortage, and many estate agents are now reporting a resurgence in interest following the surprise election result. Election uncertainty and particularly the threats of financial penalties to landlords and those with properties valued at over £2m put a brake on the market, and their removal gives a reason for a rebound in activity and prices.”

Ahead of the election prices dropped in three areas; London – which would have been hardest hit by any mansion tax, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.

“The underlying supply/demand imbalance has meant the election uncertainty has not had a negative price outcome in seven out of ten regions in the country. However, having been faced with an all-time asking price high in April of £286,133 nationally, any drop is welcome to those at the upper end of the stretched affordability curve,” Shipside added.

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