View more on these topics

House prices fall for the sixth month in a row, says Hometrack

House prices have fallen for the sixth consecutive month, says property research firm Hometrack.

The report says average prices slipped 0.2% in March with the annual rate of growth falling to +0.4%, the lowest level for 2 years and suggests that pricing will continue on a downward trend in the coming months.

The survey did however reveal an increase in demand and transaction levels.

Hometrack says last month’s increase in new buyer registrations has continued, though to a lesser extent over March, with a 1.2% increase in the number of buyers registering with agents.

The survey also identified an 8% increase in sales agreed over the month after a 20% increase over February. The average time to sell a property remained unchanged at 8.5 weeks.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, says: “Some bounce-back in market activity was inevitable after what has been a prolonged period of weak market activity.”

Donnell says the growth in demand is likely to be a non-event this year as it remains at only a third of the level seen in past years.

He says: “Indeed, the likelihood of any sustained increase in demand over the spring period is very limited. Continued uncertainty in the financial markets, affordability pressures and weak buyer confidence are all likely to suppress levels of market activity in the months ahead with pricing levels remaining under pressure.”

Despite this the survey says demand for housing still exists but the majority of households simply do not need to move.

It says this has resulted in major declines in measures of market activity over the last six months and continues to forecast a 17% drop in transaction volumes over 2008.


Rents rise to a peak in February

Average rents rose to a peak of £11,886 in February from £11,604 in January, says Paragon’s latest Buy-to-Let Index. Paragon says that as rental demand continues to grow in more difficult conditions for home purchase, landlords can achieve higher rents and yields on new and existing properties. The index shows that rents have risen by […]

The proc fee dilemma

Natalie Martin The mood seems to be picking up in the packager market this week, with two firms reporting record months for mortgage applications. It still remains to be seen whether these are one off cases or the market is indeed starting to show signs of recovery. The biggest stumbling block for packagers though still […]

BoE broadens range of eligible collateral for loans

Bank of England governor Mer-vyn King last week extended the collateral that can be used as security for its short-term loans to include mortgage-backed securities.He also pledged to increase funding for the short-term auctions he ann-ounced in December in a bid to restore confidence in the money markets.In a speech at the Treasury, King said: […]

US reveals overhaul of financial regulation

The US Treasury has unveiled its blueprint for the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1929 stock market crash. US Treasury secretary Henry Paulson says the plan will give the Federal Reserve more powers to protect the stability of the entire US financial system. Under the proposals, the Fed would have powers to examine […]

Health - thumbnail

Fit for Work: guidance for employers published

On Friday, the Department for Work and Pensions published its guidance for employers on using the new Fit for Work (FfW) service to help ill employees return to the workplace. It also includes more details on the tax exemption for medical interventions that commenced on 1 January 2015.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up