Housing market enters cooling-off period, claims Rightmove

Rightmove&#39s first ever Real-time Property Report shows that the housing market has entered a natural cooling-off period after the strong growth of the past 12 months.

The report found that the rate of growth of asking prices nationally has fallen in four consecutive months, with monthly price inflation declining from 4.5% in April to 0.8% in August, but asking prices are still rising at eight times the speed of retail prices.

However, London saw two consecutive months of declines (-1.9% over two months) and the South East saw the first decline of the year (-1.8% in August).

The Real-time Property Report is based on asking price dataof the latest new instructions coming on to the rightmove.co.uk website. Its Asking Price Trend is calculated from the biggest sample used by any house price index and claims to be the most up-to-date and forward-looking indicator available. t

Ed Williams, managing director of Rightmove, says: “Our first monthly Real-time Property Report reveals some very interesting findings. The boom conditions of the past few months, with some monthly rises of 3% or 4%, have cooled off and nationally the rate of growth has calmed towards more sustainable levels – around 1% a month for the past two months. We are still looking at 20% house price inflation for the year, but the market seems to be working more effectively to calm things down.”

Rightmove&#39s housing expert Miles Shipside, MRICS, agrees: “Demand is still good in all areas, and Rightmove agents are seeing plenty of enquiries from purchasers for all types of property, but fortunately less pressure to buy quickly before prices shoot up. The market is returning to normal, with the exception of a few hot spots – and I think buyers, sellers and estate agents welcome that.”

Independent housing commentator John Wriglesworth says: “The boiling housing market has now calmed to a simmer – across the country prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate. The new Rightmove report is a valuable leading indicator of the housing market, giving an early glimpse of what is happening. This is the first real evidence that there is a slowdown spreading from higher value properties in London and the South East. The market overall remains solid, however, and will remain so for at least the next 12 months.”