Wednesday, March 18, 2009

UK March House Prices Down 9%

Source : The Business Times, March 17, 2009

(LONDON) Asking prices for houses in England and Wales were 9 per cent lower than a year ago this month, slightly less than February's record 9.1 per cent annual drop, property website Rightmove said yesterday.

Average asking prices rose by 0.9 per cent in March, less than the usual increase for the time of year, and new listings were 57 per cent lower than last year at 79,000, Rightmove said.

'Traditional spring impetus (is) limited as . . . lending remains restricted as banks are only now facing up to declaration of toxic debt,' the survey said.

Rightmove said there seemed to be buyer interest in properties priced at around 25 per cent below peak levels, and that sellers who initially overpriced their homes risked heavier losses later.

'Rightmove advised sellers in March last year to 'get smart' and price sensibly rather than chase prices down in a deteriorating market. Those that acted smartly may well have sold at half the discount that those who over-priced are now facing,' said the website's commercial director, Miles Shipside.

The average property asking price in March was £218,081, compared with £216,163 in February.

February data from mortgage lenders Halifax and Nationwide showed that house prices have fallen around 20 per cent from their peak in late 2007. - Reuters

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