House prices fall for the first time this year
Average property prices fell by 0.4% (-£1,172) in June, the first monthly price fall of the year, and the first time asking prices have dropped in June since 2009, said Rightmove.
The property portal, which records average asking prices, said the drop has pulled back the annual rate of price inflation to 1.8%, its lowest level since April 2013.
The average UK asking price is now £316,109.
Despite the price dip, the number of sales agreed at this time of year is the second highest for 10 years, only slightly lower than the high of May 2014, and up 7% over the last 12 months, said Rightmove.
Housing markets in the North of England have performed particularly well, forging ahead with an 11% increase in sales agreed year-on-year, compared to just a 3% increase in the South.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said: “It now seems certain that we will have continuing political uncertainty, which the housing market traditionally dislikes, and with the first fall in June prices for eight years there is no doubt that the lack of stability is a factor.
“The price of property coming to the market had increased in June in every year since 2009, so buyer confidence has clearly been affected by inflation outstripping their pay packets and current political events. However, demand is still high and markets in some parts of the country seem to be getting used to coping with instability and are still strong. The high levels of sales being agreed show that the underlying fundamentals are largely unchanged with high first-time buyer demand which drives movement higher up the ladder, all aided by the cheap cost of borrowing.”
Kevin Shaw, national sales director at estate agency Leaders, added: “Since the 8th June, even with the continuing political uncertainty, it’s very much business as usual for the property market. Whilst some people may be adopting a wait and see approach, many more are wanting – or needing – to press on with their property transactions. We have, however, started to see a slight hardening of attitude from buyers so sellers need to have realistic expectations and be prepared to be flexible in negotiations.”