Rightmove house price index for December 2018 shows that asking prices are still falling at a significant rate – down 1.5%, equivalent to a drop of £4,496 for the average property.
The fall the previous month was 1.7%, giving a drop of 3.2% (or £9,719) over two months, the biggest two month fall since the same time of year in 2012.
YEAR ON YEAR FALL IN THE SOUTH
The latest fall means that, year on year, three areas dip into negative territory in 2018 compared to 2017:
London, down 1.1%
South East 0.9%
East, down 0.7%.
Nationally, asking prices were up by a modest 0.7% over the year with Rightmove expecting 2019 to show zero growth.
For 2018 Rightmove had predicted a 1% rise in asking prices, so they were not far off the actual total of 0.7%
Rightmove reports that falls at this time of year are not unusual, but the extent of the fall is.
BEST PERFORMING AREAS IN THE NORTH
The figures highlight a pattern of the South doing less well than the North and Midlands. The Best performing area was Wales where asking prices grew by 6.2%.
East Midlands (5.1%), Yorkshire & Humberside (4.8%), West Midlands (4.5%) and the North West (3.1%) were the next best performers.
WHAT NEXT FOR ASKING PRICES?
Miles Shipside director and market analyst for Rightmove identifies “buyer affordability and political uncertainty” as reasons for the fall.
With the outcome of Brexit even more uncertain than ever, it is not easy to make a case for a bounce back next month.
If anything, falls could continue, at least in the South – where there are no obvious circumstances to justify growth.
The South has been badly hit by the stamp duty surcharge which came into effect from April 2016, stricter borrowing rules and more stringent stress tests for BTL landlords.
Until the impact of these measure wear off, there seems little reason for asking prices in the South to increase.
The indications are that the two speed property market will continue, with the North performing better than the South, but with both regions slowing.
All the predictions are that a no-deal Brexit will make things much worse for the whole country.
From now until Brexit day on the 29th March 2019 uncertainty seems the only certainty.
Until then, property owners up and down the country can do no more than hold their breath. However it is only fair to say the signs are not good.
What do you think will happen to asking prices in the coming months? Please leave your comments below
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Rebel Property Coach
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