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Property asking prices have fallen for the first time in 2019 as confidence wanes with further uncertainty over Brexit.
The asking prices for property coming to market has fallen by 0.2 per cent this month after a 0.3 per cent rise in June. Compared with a year ago, prices were down by 0.2 per cent according to the latest analysis from property portal Rightmove.
The fall in July contrasts with signs of improvement in a survey of chartered surveyors published last week, underlining the uncertainty hanging over the housing market.
In addition to lower asking prices, the data also shows that fewer properties are coming to market, down by 7.8 per cent this month compared with the same period a year ago, and fewer sales are being agreed (down by 4.6 per cent).
However, estate agents’ total average stock per branch is higher than at any time in the last four years, as a challenging market means it is taking longer to secure a buyer.
The latest figures show that the average time to secure a buyer is 62 days, the highest at this time of year since 2013, possibly adding to lower asking prices.
Rightmove suggests that this longer time to secure a buyer, coupled with higher property stocks, likely to mean that it will be ‘more of a buyers’ market in the second half of 2019’.
The biggest annual decline in asking prices continues to be seen in London, at 1.7 per cent, but over the month to mid-July prices asking prices slipped just 0.2 per cent in the capital – in line with the national average and better than a number of the regions.
Director at Rightmove, Miles Shipside, commented: ‘The housing market fundamentals remain largely sound in many parts of the country, but the current political climate means that the crucial ingredient of confidence has been impaired, and that is causing some potential buyers and sellers to hesitate.
‘With record employment, low interest rates and good mortgage availability, buyers have a lot in their favour apart from the lack of political certainty. Those who have postponed their purchase should note that estate agency branches have more sellers on their books than at any time for the last four years, so there should be more choice of properties to buy. It could be a good opportunity to negotiate a relative bargain in the second half of the year, if they can set aside the continuing Brexit distractions.’