Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dip In Asking Prices Of England, Wales Homes

Source : The Business Times, January 20, 2009

(LONDON) Asking prices for houses in England and Wales fell 7.3 per cent in January from a year ago, property website Rightmove said yesterday, the sharpest drop since its house price series began in August 2002.

Home truths: Rightmove's survey shows that asking prices have fallen less steeply than actual selling prices

The survey, which is not adjusted to take seasonal factors into account, showed that average asking prices fell 1.9 per cent between December and January to £213,570 (S$466,000), down nearly 12 per cent from their peak last May and the lowest level since June 2006.

The figures support widespread evidence that the housing market slump is far from over and could even be gaining momentum as Britain enters its first recession since the early 1990s.

Rightmove said that dramatic cuts in interest rates by the Bank of England since October had boosted new buyer enquiries.

But the figures also show that new sale listings were less than half the level they were at last year and asking prices have dropped by more than 7 per cent since November, the fastest three-month decline since the survey began.

'The speed with which prices have declined has been worrying, but it does mean we are potentially reaching the bottom sooner,' said Miles Shipside, commercial director at Rightmove.

Britain's housing market has taken a battering over the past year as the global credit crunch has made it difficult to borrow. A survey from Britain's biggest mortgage lender, the Halifax, showed house prices fell an unprecedented 18.9 per cent in 2008.

Rightmove's survey shows that asking prices have fallen less steeply than actual selling prices, suggesting that buyers are negotiating deals well below the marketed price. -- Reuters

No comments: