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House prices decline; zero growth expected in 2019: Rightmove

Rightmove’s December house price index shows that the property market continues to drop, reporting a 1.5 per cent fall since November, and that the company expects no growth in 2019.

The reported price fall represents a reduction of £4,496 on the average asking price, which is currently £297,527.

Rightmove adds that, according to its figures, agreed sales are also down 2.1 per cent on an annual basis.

In November, Rightmove recorded a monthly change in prices of -1.7 per cent, which marks today’s figures as being the largest decline that the firm has recorded over two consecutive months since 2012.

Rightmove believes that this is due to a combination of the usual Christmas slowdown, stretched affordability and wider political uncertainty.

Earlier today, Your Move issued a report that showed house prices in England and Wales rising by 0.9 per cent in November, a marked contrast to the data posted by Rightmove. It is important to note that the latter’s methodology runs into December, that it takes Scotland into account, which posted a monthly drop of 2.7 per cent in December, and that it is the product of house listings posted on Rightmove’s website.

Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside says: “It’s usual for new to the market sellers to price lower in the run up to Christmas to tempt distracted buyers.

“However, these falls have been larger than usual showing that there are more than just seasonal forces at play.

“We forecast that 2019 will see the north still broadly outperforming the south, our prediction for the year ahead is the overall national average flat at 0 per cent.”

Jackson-Stops chairman Nick Leeming comments: “The 2019 property market is likely to get off to quite a slow start in the New Year while the UK awaits clarity on Brexit negotiations. However, despite the market not being as buoyant as it was a few years ago, accurately priced homes will still sell.”

Director of readings in Leicester Peter Woodthorpe says: “Overall our sales have been up this year compared to 2017 and prices have been growing steadily.

“The lack of stock for sale in our area has led to some over ambitious pricing which is why some properties are sticking, and it’s why pricing correctly from the start is so critical.”

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