Property asking prices in England and Wales were virtually static during July, according to the most recent data released from Rightmove.
Values increased by just 0.1% during the month, with prices flat or falling in seven of the ten regions covered by the Index.
In the North East, prices fell by 1.3% month-on-month. However, they were still up by 1.6% year-on-year. Yorkshire and Humber saw falls of 1% but values here were 4.1% up during the twelve-month period.
Property prices in the North East also fell by 0.7% to hit £186,999. Despite this, values here were still up by 2.4% annually.
In addition, data from the report shows that asking prices in the East and East Midlands fell by 0.7% and 0.4% respectively. Values here however were still up by 3.8% and 4.9% year-on-year.
Greater London saw asking prices rise by 1.1% in July, to hit an average of £641,388. The West Midlands saw monthly rises of 0.7%, while Wales experienced increases of 0.6%.
What’s more, the investigation shows that sales remained strong in the year to July 2017, with the number of properties sold nearly identical to those seen at the same time in 2016.
Would-be buyers are also seeing the highest proportion of properties on the market at any time during the last seven years. There are 7.6% more sellers coming onto the market in July, in comparison to the same time last year.
Miles Shipside, Director and Housing Market Analyst at Rightmove, feels that limited buyer affordability is acting as a natural price brake.
Asking prices in England and Wales virtually unmoved in July
Shipside observed: ‘Sellers coming to market at this time of year have to price more keenly as the traditionally bubblier spring selling season is over and prospective buyers are distracted by their own summer holiday plans.’
‘A year on from the shock referendum result and subsequent dent in activity levels, the fundamentals remain strong. Low unemployment, low interest rates, strong demand and historic undersupply of homes are mitigating any wobbles in confidence and as a result nearly half the properties on the market, over 45%, have sold. Compared to the period around the referendum a year ago, more sellers have come to market and more buyers are buying. The number of sales agreed is up by 4.6% in June 2017 compared to June 2016, and the number of sellers coming to market is also up on the same period a year ago, with a 7.6% increase in fresh choice,’ he continued.
Mr Shipside went on to point out that, ‘The half way point of 2017 is a useful time to make a comparison with the previous year and the number of sales being agreed by agents is uncannily within fractions of a percent of the number at the same half way point of last year. This year and last year have had their own shocks and distortions, but these statistics show that the distractions have been short-lived and have now evened themselves out.’
‘We can see now that price rises are muted despite high housing demand, indicating we have left the stage of the cycle where price rises exceed the rate of inflation. High demand will continue to underpin prices, but we are seeing stretched affordability limiting the pace of rises, especially in the south of the country,’ he concluded.