Seasonal decreases in the housing market during January have been less pronounced than those in 2002, says property website Rightmove.co.uk.
Year-on-year house price inflation rose to 26.5% compared to 22.1% in December. Between December and January prices slipped by 0.4%, a modest amount contrasted with the big seasonal fall of 3.9% in January 2002.
The nationwide estate agency website says number of properties coming onto the market has risen sharply (almost 40,000 a week, the highest figure since last September) while record levels of activity on the Rightmove.co.uk website from prospective buyers have been registered.
Miles Shipside, housing expert at Rightmove.co.uk, says: “As always, the past few weeks have been very quiet in the housing market – with a disproportionate number of forced sales which do tend to push down prices. We're now seeing more properties coming onto the market and more people starting to look, signs that the market is returning to steady conditions.
Ed Williams, managing director of Rightmove.co.uk, says: “The doom-mongers would have us believe that the housing market is set to crash, but the record site traffic on Rightmove.co.uk just after the new year gives reason to believe that there is plenty of pent-up demand out there.
The Real-time Property Report's Asking Price Trend is calculated from new instructions on the Rightmove.co.uk website representing the biggest sample used by any house price index. It is the most up-to-date and forward-looking indicator available, showing today what Nationwide and Halifax are expected to report in about six weeks' time.
Rightmove.co.uk displays details of around 30% of all homes for sale, around 150,000 at any time, worth more than £20bn and receives two million visits a month.