Kate Faulkner's Latest Property Price Summary

publication date: Dec 18, 2012
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

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Latest Property Price Summary

We track over eight monthly reports on property prices produced on a monthly basis. This report summarises what the reports say about the market and Kate Faulkner comments on what this means for the industry and general public.

Report Headlines:-

Rightmove “Prices fall but positive signs for 2013?”
Nationwide “UK house prices unchanged in November”
Hometrack “Housing market north-south divide narrows. London prices fall for first time in a year”
RICS “Activity indicators continue to edge upwards”
Acadametrics “Housing market returns to growth in October as prices and transactions climb”
Land Registry “Activity indicators continue to edge upwards”
Smart New Homes “Brisk start to Autumn new homes market sees growth slow in October”

Kate Faulkner comments:
“It’s not unusual for the different property price indices to disagree with each other as they measure different parts of the market. As such, Rightmove information suggests sellers are getting more realistic on prices towards the end of the year as sellers are keen to sell. Hometrack are picking up that property prices are starting to flat line and Nationwide’s measure of mortgaged sales are picking up a similar trend. The RICS suggest that as sellers have priced more realistically, this has helped to encourage buyers to make offers, while Acadametrics and the Land Registry record what has happened over the last few months and after a poor September, sales have shown to balance out by an improvement in October.

“Overall, all the signs and reports very much suggest little is actually happening in the market, but they do seem to all be showing some signs of early improvements which may suggest a better 2013 than 2012.”

New Home Property Prices

Smart New Homes “The average price of a new home in October was £231,049, down 3.3% over the month.
Annual growth dropped back from an unsustainable high of 7.9% in September to 3.8% in
October.  A new home now costs on average £8,429 more than the same time last year. A
new home now  costs 5% less than in the wider market as house builders continue to price
realistically. The number  of new homes available to buy increased in October but was down
compared to October 2011.”

Kate Faulkner comments:
“New home prices have been incredibly robust since 2010. Unlike second hand property prices which have slipped into double dip in most areas, new homes have retained their prices. This is mainly due to developers only building what they can sell and why we have one of the lowest building rates since the war – just 100,000 new homes a year. Considering there are 23-26 million homes in the UK, accusations of ‘concreting’ over our green belt are hardly credible!”

Regional Property Price Differences

Rightmove “London continues to buck the national trend, but, even with the large lift in London prices
removed, the rest of the country is broadly stable (+0.2%) year-on-year”
Hometrack “The performance of housing markets in the north and south of the country is narrowing slightly
on two key measures. The gap between asking and achieved prices is closing in northern regions,
reducing the downward pressure on pricing”
RICS “From a regional perspective, the survey continues to show London as the only area with a
positive net balance”
Acadametrics “Greater London continues to dominate the housing market in terms of annual price change”
Land Registry “The region in England and Wales which experienced the greatest increase in its average property
value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 7.0 per cent. Wales experienced the
greatest monthly rise with an increase of 1.5 per cent. The North East experienced the greatest
annual price fall with a decrease of 5.8 per cent“

Kate Faulkner comments:
“National price and even some regional performances are not really any use to someone considering buying, selling or investing. Property prices and how long it takes to sell a home depends on local demand for an individual property in an individual street, if you want to know whether now is a good time to buy, sell, invest or build a home, you have to research local demand and supply and speak to local property experts.”

Demand for Property

Hometrack “The slowdown in demand seen over the last five months has also been less pronounced in northern
regions. Demand has fallen by 4% in the north, compared to 12% in southern
regions where the
market has been more buoyant.”
RICS “New buyer enquiries rose for the third successive month and this was accompanied by a more
modest increase in the level of new instructions”
Acadametrics ”This year we estimate that the number of property transactions completed in the month rose by
24%, compared to September, with just over 65,000 properties sold. This rise of
24% almost
exactly matches the fall in transactions seen last month.”
Land Registry “The most up-to-date figures available show that during August 2012, the number of completed
house sales in England and Wales decreased by 3 per cent to 62,291 compared
with 64,417 in
August 2011”
NAEA “The average number of house hunters registered per branch decreased from 275 in September
to 265 in October. Demand for property decreased between September and
October for the
fourth consecutive month, representing a significant decrease on year-on-
year figures
(October 2011; 305)”

Kate Faulkner comments:
“Demand for property in 2012 seems to be fairly stable and only the RICS index suggests there are more buyers around. NAEA and Hometrack are suggesting demand is slightly falling, even against 2011. Without an on-going increase in demand, it’s unlikely the housing market will start to recover.”

Supply of Property

Rightmove “Property availability is tightening in lower price bands, with new stock coming to market in
the typical first-time buyer and investor brackets priced at £150,000 and below down by 5%
on a year ago. This is a likely contributory factor in terrace and flat property types seeing the
greatest annual increases, up 4.4% and 4.3% year-on-year respectively“
Hometrack “Tightening supply combined with low levels of new housing, have been an important support
to pricing levels nationally. In Central London, Rising supply and a new top rate of stamp duty
have acted as a brake on house prices. This has been fuelled further by fears of an
announcement in the forthcoming autumn budget statement of a possible annual charge on
high value homes”
RICS “The new instructions balance decreased from +11 to +4”
Smart New Homes “The number of new homes available to buy increased in October but was down compared to
October 2011”
NAEA “Housing supply levels remained stable between September and October but the average
number of properties available per branch is still down on figures recorded last year”

Kate Faulkner comments:
“Property price rises and falls are very much driven by supply and demand. Although demand seems to be static to falling in the UK according to the surveys, it also appears most sellers are not bothering to put their homes on the market. With demand being static and supply tightening, it suggests prices will remain relatively stable in coming months – depending on local factors. However, it’s vital homeowners or buyers talk to the local agents and surveyors in their area to better understand whether the properties they want to sell/buy are bucking the trend either upwards, or of course, downwards”.

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