With the release today of their January House Price Index Rightmove are forecasting a spring stock shortage will underpin prices in popular locations as new seller numbers dwindle. Rightmove also reports that there has been record internet activity indicating stirring buyer interest.
With property coming to market at its lowest level since January 2009 scarce new sellers have raised asking prices by 0.3% (£711), the first rise in three months. The most significant absentees are potential sellers of semi-detached properties who are either unwilling or unable to move. The VAT increase is also not helping with those struggling to stay in their homes as well as hitting first time buyers and trader-uppers who are saving hard to save the huge deposits required. We can only hope that this lack of property coming to market will assist an upward trend in new sellers’ average asking prices for the next three months as it coincides with the run in to the spring moving season.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, comments:
“The opening skirmish in the 2011 price battle looks to be going marginally in favour of scarcer sellers, especially in locations preferred by tooled-up cash buyers or those packing a hefty deposit. With the number of new sellers at a two year record low, prices are being under-pinned by muted new supply just managing to fight off the downsides of lender reticence. However, in less popular locations, the smokescreen of New Year price optimism is temporarily masking the collateral damage that the new era of tighter credit will continue to inflict”.
While nationally new sellers average asking prices increased by just 0.3% (£711), they were outperformed by the confidence of the capital’s sellers who pushed theirs up by 1.1% (£4,470). This is a timely positive sign for new sellers as it breaks the downward spiral of falls seen in the previous two months when prices fell by a total of 2.4%.
Miles Shipside commented:
“This month’s price rise will come as a welcome respite to prospective sellers in the London area as they had witnessed falls in both November and December. Sellers in the run up to Christmas normally have a pressing reason to sell so chopped back their prices, while sellers launching to the market in the New Year are traditionally more optimistic.”
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