by Mark Johnston
There is no question the property market has been struggling to stay above water for the past five years.
Separate figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) underline how much the housing market has seized up since the recession took hold. The number of properties for sale at each branch average was 62 in September, compared with an average of 100 in December 2008.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: we are doubtful that the economy can grow fast enough on a sustained basis in the near term to really help the housing market.
Overall, house prices drifted lower in October, with a 0.1 per cent fall for the third month in a row according to property analyst Hometrack.
Nationwide building society stated that the average selling price of UK homes rose 0.6 per cent in October to £164,153, but the building society also warned that values had yet to settle into an upward trend as September had seen a 0.4 per cent fall.
Latest figures show that the November fall comes after an autumn rebound in October, when asking prices rose 3.5 per cent month on month following a weak summer due to distractions such as the Olympics.
The bank of Englands latest house price index values have also fallen by 1.7 per cent over the past 12 months, which is the highest annual change recorded since February.
Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said that this month’s fall was “better than expected and suggests the market is in good shape as it enters the winter lull”.
Halifax’s chief economist, Martin Ellis, said the figures were “signs of a modest deterioration in the trend in house prices”.
Estate agents around the country has said that the number of agreed sales rose by 9.2 per cent across the country in the strongest uplift seen since the spring.
Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said “the big jumps in sales were mainly down to sellers re-pricing homes that have been on the market for a while to a level where sales can take place, rather than a significant increase in demand from buyers”.
Industry experts feel that it is encouraging that terrace houses and flats rose more year on year than any other property type, with bottom-end sales a ‘key driver for the rest of the marke’ as they indicate activity among investors and first-time buyers.
It seems the foundation of any national and sustainable recovery in the housing market rests on growth in the wider economy and household incomes. Any recovery will most likely start to be seen in transaction volumes rather than prices.
Story link - November 2012 House Prices.
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