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House prices dip in London as Wales hits record high in May – Rightmove

  • 20/05/2019
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House prices dip in London as Wales hits record high in May – Rightmove
The price of properties up for sale have risen on a monthly basis by 0.9% in May 2019, equivalent to £2,841, buoyed by the spring market and consistent with the previous two-year average of one per cent, data showed.


On an annual basis, prices increased by 0.1% this month, with the average house price at £308,290 up from £305,449 in April 2019, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

The report found that four out of eleven regions hit record highs for seller asking prices.


Regional overview

Prospective buyers in Wales, the West and East Midlands, and the North West are seeing all-time highs for the average price of property coming to market.

Property prices in Wales were 4.1% higher than 12 months ago, breaking through the £200,000 barrier for the first time.

In the West and East Midlands, prices rose by three and 2.5% respectively, whilst in the North West they increased by 2.1%.

By contrast, London, South East and the East of England regions have seen year-on-year falls.

Upwards price pressure and positive sentiment in these regions is overcoming hesitancy to come to market, with average numbers of new sellers in the year to date steady at -0.3% against 2018.

In contrast the same comparison sees new listing numbers in the remaining seven regions down by an average of 6.5%.


Interest in property remains high

Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s director and housing market analyst, said that price increases are the norm at this time of year, with only one fall in the last ten years, as new-to-the-market sellers’ price aspirations are under-pinned by the higher buyer demand that is a feature of the spring market.

Shipside added: “Activity breeds activity and a greater choice of  fresh properties in these record-setting regions helps to spur buyers into action, especially if they have a property to sell.

“This in turn adds another new listing that might then tempt another buyer, in a virtuous circle. And in much of the rest of the country, despite the ongoing political uncertainty, agents are reporting that the lure of the right property at the right price still attracts good interest. In spite of some of the challenges in the market, interest in property remains very high.

“People’s ongoing desire to satisfy their pent-up housing needs mean that on average someone contacts an agent on Rightmove every second.”


No change until Brexit clarified

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Asking prices are not selling prices, which explains why some of these figures do not match results from other recent housing surveys.

“Overall, although there has been little change, that masks some considerable regional differences. For instance, London is acting as a drag on the rest of the UK housing market and prices don’t include inflation so have risen or fallen further in real terms.

“The spring bounce is taking place but not reaching the heights we would have expected and certainly not in the capital.

“Looking forward, we are not expecting significant changes one way or the other, at least until Brexit is clarified.”


Agents’ Views

Ian Marriott, director at FHP Living in West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire, said: “There are less buyers out there at the moment, but the people who are in the market are doers rather than people who will mess you around. Sellers shouldn’t be disheartened if viewing figures are down because the quality of people who are interested in buying is better than before. I think people are just really bored of the whole Brexit debate.

“It feels like there is some kind of election every week and so the fear factor is perhaps subsiding, and people are just getting on with their lives. There may be 30 per cent less people in our market, but the good news is that 70 per cent of people still want to get on and move.

“We are possibly less affected than the London and southern regions because, being further removed from the city, we have a slightly more stable market. Things don’t react as quickly here to the economy.”

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