The latest data and analysis from independent estate agent, haart, has revealed that house prices across England and Wales in August dropped by 4.1% on the month, but are up 0.8% on the year. haart places the average house price now at £230,964.
New buyer demand for homes rose by 1.8% on the month but is still down 7.7% annually. Additionally the number of properties coming onto the market has fallen by 7.6% on the month, and is down by 14% on the year. This month there are 9 buyers chasing every property across England and Wales.
The market has become more efficient this month, as the number of transactions has increased at a higher rate than the number of viewings. Meaning that buyers are choosing to look at fewer properties before they buy.
The average purchase price for first-time buyers has fallen by 10.2% on the month, and is down by 1.3% on the year. This comes as the number of first-time buyers entering the market has fallen by 2.2% on the month, and by 22.3% on the year.
Despite average purchase prices rising, the average amount paid for a deposit has fallen on both the month and the year.
The average property price in London has fallen by 2% on the month, however has risen by 4.2% on the year. Annual growth was greater than the rest of the UK. The number of new buyers entering the market has risen by 2.1% on the month, and is down by 28.1% on the year. At the same time, the number of new instructions has fallen by 14.1% on the month, and by 18.4% on the year. Sale transactions are down 6.8% on the month, and 27% on the year.
The number of tenants entering the market across the UK has risen by 6% on the month, however is still down 29.3% annually. Despite the rise in demand, rents have fallen marginally at 0.2% on the month. The average rent now sits at £1,268 across the UK. Demand in London has also risen by 2% on the month, however is down 29.7% annually. London rents have risen by 0.3%, and the average rental price now sits at £1,788.
The number of landlords registering to buy has fallen this month by 0.2% across England and Wales, however has risen by 3% in London. The annual fall is greater, 17% and 34% on the year respectively. The number of buy-to-let sales rose on the month by 9.5% in England and Wales, and rose by 0.1% in London. This came as sale prices fell by 0.6% across England and Wales, and rose by 7.1% in London. This is down 1.4% on the year for England and Wales, and 12% in London.
Paul Smith, CEO of haart, the UK’s largest independent estate agent, comments: “First-time buyers benefited from falling prices in August, as the housing market reached the low of the summer slowdown. First-time buyer prices fell by 10% on the month, dropping to their lowest level since August 2016.
Transactions across the board still remain 14% down on where they were a year ago – however I sincerely believe we have reached the bottom of the market. Prices are still rising, but at a slower pace than inflation, and now that unemployment has reached a record low it’s only a matter of time before interest rates climb back up again. The savvy buyer will act now before prices begin to rise at a faster pace.
With 9 buyers chasing every instruction across the UK, 15 across London, and as we are seeing almost 100% of asking prices achieved across many of our London branches, it is impossible to deny that the demand to buy is there. Housing has been a bottom of the pile priority for Government ministers for too many months whilst the ins and outs of Brexit are debated. Now, in the midst of a housing crisis, is hardly the time to take a step back on housing policy. We need to see real reform to make real change on the ground now.”