by Mark Johnston
Olympics Blamed for House Price Fall.
Property websites has revealed that the amount of time home hunters spent searching for a property fell by as much as 50 per cent in August as ‘magical Olympic moments’ brought Britain to a standstill.
Among the most notable dips in site traffic were the opening and closing ceremonies.
It appears that the property market has faired poor this summer with house prices falling for the third month in a row and some claim that the Olympics are largely to blame for the downward movement in prices.
The property website Rightmove’s latest house price index showed that properties coming on to the market were £11,000 cheaper than they were just 3 months ago.
According to the Halifax building society, the housing market continued to ‘tread water’ in August as sellers slashed their prices in order to tempt scarce summer buyers.
Figures show that the average house in August was around £236,260. House prices fell by 2.4 per cent in August, which is the largest price drop ever recorded for August.
Miles Shipside, housing market analyst at Rightmove.co.uk, said “summer sellers have had some very stiff competition, not only from competing sellers chopping their prices but also from the Olympics extravaganza, which has been more compelling for many than viewing property”.
However, a recent report by the Nationwide building society showed that house prices actually rose by 1.3 per cent in August.
In addition to this Ian Perry, a Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) spokesman said “little changed in the housing market last month. Despite the Olympics taking centre stage throughout much of August, it did not have any real impact on the proportion of sales going through”.
It appears then that the state of the housing market is little different now to this time last year and prices have stagnated as neither buyers nor sellers have been forced to change their behaviours in sufficient quantities to stimulate greater activity.
Looking ahead, chartered surveyors across the country predict that transaction levels will pick up slightly as autumn approaches; more surveyors expect sales to rise rather than fall over the coming 3 months.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said “September heralds that start of a final push in property sales before the end of the year as many would be buyers aim to get in to their new homes before Christmas. As a result we expect to see a pick up in business in the next couple of months”.
Although some property experts state that while the main Olympic distractions have passed, many other challenges remain for sellers to overcome if they want to sell this autumn.
Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, suggested that “the market was expected to remain flat heading in to 2013”.
Analysts expected house prices to be marginally lower in 2021 compared with last year as the weakness in demand was likely to be offset by tight housing supply.
In conclusion the housing market is broken and it is clear that something needs to urgently been done to address this fact.
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