Wednesday, February 18, 2009

English, Welsh Property Prices Down

Source : The Business Times, February 17, 2009

(LONDON) Asking prices for properties in England and Wales were a record 9.1 per cent lower in February than last year at an average £216,163 (S$468,238), but prices were 1.2 per cent up on the month, property website Rightmove said yesterday.

Rightmove said that the month-on- month price rise did not mark the start of a turnaround in Britain's housing market, where prices have tumbled since late 2007 because of the darkening economic outlook and a severe shortage of mortgage finance.

'Sales are being achieved at around 25 per cent below peak prices, yet new sellers coming to market are starting out asking an average of only 10 per cent less,' said Miles Shipside, Rightmove's commercial director.

'Yet, falsely optimistic New Year sellers still followed the seasonal trend and raised asking prices,' he added.

Last year, house prices rose 3.2 per cent in February as sellers readied for a seasonal increase in buyer interest.

Asking prices were most stable in London, where they increased only 0.3 per cent month-on-month, while average asking prices were just 3.5 per cent lower than a year ago at £387,988.

Wales was the worst-performing region, with asking prices down 14.0 per cent from a year earlier at £151,394. -- Reuters

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