Autumn asking prices up 0.9%
Analysis of the housing market from online estate agency Rightmove has revealed that homeowners are marking up their sale prices by £2,474 taking the average asking price to £264,875.
The typical change for September over the last 10 years has been a fall of 0.5% in asking prices signalling a quicker than usual recovery after the summer months when holidays take over house hunting.
House purchase approvals declined by 4.6% in August, according to research from esurv chartered surveyors, making it the second consecutive month to see a drop.
But enquiries made to agents remained strong throughout August indicating a good level of demand was prevalent in the market.
Rightmove received 4 million enquires in August which is the second highest amount of enquiries it has ever received, with only January this year being marginally higher.
Year-on-year, August enquiries were 16% higher.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “We usually see a price fall at this time of year as potential home-movers are generally still in holiday mode.
“However, it looks like there are early signs of a bounce-back in demand after the summer lull, leaving those estate agents with a shortage of stock at a potential
disadvantage and therefore eager to attract new instructions.”
Shipside said that while there was more property coming to market this year, the excess had been swallowed up by increased sales.
“There is already 10% less property available per estate agency branch compared to this time a year ago. Enquiries by phone and email to agents were up by 16% compared to August last year, and at near record levels, you can see why there has been an earlier than usual price pick-up,” he said.
Simon Wilkinson of Wilkinson Estate Agents in Milton Keynes, Winslow and Leighton Buzzard said the prospects for an expansion in supply looked good as many more home owners considered a move before Christmas.
Lenders have begun slashing rates to catch the attention of homebuyers looking to snap up a pre-Christmas purchase. Nationwide, Skipton and Coventry all went head-to-head last week cutting rates across fixed rate and tracker deals with a choice of fee options.
But demand from buyers and lenders cannot negate the effects of tougher affordability rules under the Mortgage Market Review, launched in April, which are expected to impact Q3 lending figures.
For the rest of 2014, the stability of the housing market remains uncertain until after Scotland takes to the polls to decide on whether to leave the UK and become an independent country.
Shipside said even the presence of a debate around Scottish independence and its implications for the UK economy could cause uncertainty in the minds of potential home-movers contemplating a large long-term financial commitment.
Speculation amongst economic forecasters on an upwards pressure on interest rates, availability of wholesale funding for lenders, and the geographic location of major financial institutions are potentially destabilising influences on consumer sentiment.