by Mark Johnston
House prices in August rise!
Many sellers slashed their prices in order to tempt scarce summer buyers and therefore house prices in England and Wales fell an average of 2.4 per in August, according to property website, rightmove.co.uk.
It seems that this is the largest price drop ever recorded in August and brings the average house price to £236,260.
Some property websites have shown that the amount of time home hunters spent searching for a property has fall by as much as 50 per cent.
However, according to the latest figures from Nationwide building society, the average price of a UK home rose by around 1.3 per cent, which they say is the biggest monthly increase in two and half years.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, stated “given the difficult economic back drop, the extent of the rebound in August is a little surprising”. He also added that caution should be taken to reading too much in to one months data.
Ben Thompson, managing director Legal & General Mortgage Club, suggested that “this is much needed and timely news for home owners. This may even serve as a gentle nudge to those currently renting who feel no urgency to buy at the moment”.
Therefore according to the Nationwides latest house price index the price of an average home now stands at £164,729, this is up from July when prices had fallen 0.8 per cent to £164,389.
Russell Quirk, director of online estate agent eMoov.co.uk, said that “low transaction levels were behind August’s price increase. Prices are jumping around from one month to the next and therefore September could just as likely see a reverse”.
This particular bounce in prices mirrors the latest mortgage lending figures to come from the Bank of England, they saw approvals go from 44,124 in June to 47,312 in July.
Many analysts however have been quick to point out that these approval figures merely mean that levels are back to those seen in May this year and this just means that the market has recovered from the two extra holidays in June.
Nevertheless, the fact is that year on year house prices have fallen 0.7 per cent. Gabby Adler, independent buying agent, also added “the 3 month average gives a more realistic picture of what is going on and this shows a decline in prices. The housing market is firmly in the doldrums”.
Some property experts believe that in a market as erratic and inconsistent as this, there is one thing that remains consistent: house prices in the south are proving infinitely more resilient than those in the north.
What does emerge is a housing market that is broken in many different ways. Therefore moving forward, there is certainly going to be a much closer correlation between the property market and the economy.
From now on the economy will rule the fickle property market with an iron fist!
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