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UK Residential Property Prices Fall At Fastest Rate For Three Years

UK Residential Property Prices Fall At Fastest Rate For Three Years

UK residential property prices have dropped at the fastest rate for three years and now UK economists are warning that the double-dip recession will push them down further.

Nationwide published figures last week showing the average value of a residential property has dropped by 2.6% since July 2011.

The news is the biggest annual fall in UK property prices since August 2009 and follows a drop in property values almost every month since December.

In July 2012 the average UK residential property lost 0.7% of its reported value.

The figures from Nationwide also reveal a slump in average property prices since the peak of the UK property market in October 2007 when average residential property values stood at £186,044 (GBP).

Today the average property value is worth £164,389 (GBP), a fall of £21,655 (GBP) which is almost the equivalent of an average UK annual wage.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at the Nationwide said “The drop is unsurprising given the disappointing performance of the wider economy”.

Official figures showed that last month the UK was still struggling with the longest economic downturn in history.

National residential property prices mirror the economic struggle in the UK with only the shortage of habitable residential properties available preventing larger price falls in many parts of the country.

Mortgage lending figures are still poor, and lenders’ reluctance to lend is being felt most keenly by first-time buyers and landlords who want to expand their property portfolios.

Nationwide refuses to predict if house prices will continue to fall, but economists have already made their own bleak forecasts, stating that UK house prices are likely to remain under pressure for the rest of the year.

Online property portal, Rightmove states that it has recorded a drop in the average asking price for residential property this month, the first significant fall since January 2012.

Average UK residential property prices have fallen by 1.7%, a drop of around £4,138 (GBP),

The demand for residential property has been low due to a number of factors:

  • Euro 2012
  • The weather, deterring potential buyers from viewing properties,
  • The Olympics, for distracting people’s focus away from moving.

Righmove said that there were twice as many people trying to sell a property than those trying to buy one, with each branch of the agency having an average of 75 residential properties that they were unable to sell.

The company warned property vendors that further asking price cuts could be necessary to secure a sale.

Director of Rightmove Miles Shipside, said: “The fact that we have not seen major price falls in the UK and that many areas are not awash with ‘For Sale’ boards may lead some sellers to be over-optimistic with their pricing. New seller numbers may be down some 30% on the period prior to credit-crunch, but the numbers achieving a successful sale are down by half and average unsold stock levels are creeping up.”

The West Midlands was the only region in England and Wales where prices increased in July compared with the previous month – with asking prices up 2% to £191,121.

In contrast, residential property prices dropped most in London, compared with the previous month, with a fall of 3.6% to £460,304.

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