Sales awesome, new listings dreadful
London (PRWeb UK) September 21, 2009
Rightmove, the number one property website, has published its September 2009 House Price Index and reports that the onset of the Autumn moving season has seen new sellers asking an average of 0.6% more for their properties than last month. Rightmove has also recorded the lowest average stock levels per branch for 18 months, with 29% more properties coming off the market than coming to the market.
The lack of choice in popular areas and high deposit requirements are combining to deter existing home owners from taking advantage of more buoyant market conditions to trade up. Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, comments: "There's an Autumn window for new sellers where a sensible asking price combined with this better market could get you traded up into your next home before Christmas. Some would-be sellers may be concerned by the limited choice of suitable property currently available, and will have to decide whether to take a chance on finding something fresh to the market after they have found a buyer. This increases the risk and stress of moving, but with choice getting increasingly limited in popular areas they need to have a buyer lined up to improve their chances of securing their next home".
The brisker market continues to erode stock levels as sold or withdrawn property is removed from the market. One agent's summary of trading conditions in August was: "Sales awesome, new listings dreadful". The average unsold stock per estate agency branch has dipped to 69, after 17 months in the 70s. This is the lowest level since February 2008. With circa 20% fewer branches than in 2008, the fall in stock levels is made more pointed. New seller numbers are averaging around 23,000 a week, giving a run rate of around 1.2 million a year. Historic figures from Rightmove show that potential buyers have previously enjoyed a choice from around 2 million properties a year. With 151,591 properties measured as coming off the market this month, it is easy to see why property scarcity in popular areas is underpinning price levels.
Evidence that trading up is the domain of the cash-rich comes from the latest Rightmove Consumer Survey of potential movers' circumstances. With 53% of those polled stating that they had over 50% equity in their existing homes, it illustrates that the current activity in the property market now depends to an unhealthy degree on those with substantial equity.
Shipside adds: "Many aspiring sellers could face years trapped in their homes until values rise enough for them to join the equity-rich club, and even then they will be heavily dependent on the number of bottom-of-the-chain first-time-buyers. Confidence is up, stock is down, and the number of people searching is high. There are lots of positives but too few buyers can put down the 40% deposits that are needed in order to secure the best mortgage deals. Finance greases the wheels of the property market, and it is anybody's guess when we might see the necessary level of competitive funding return.
Average asking prices of London property for sale coming onto the market in the capital increased by 0.9% this month. September sellers, likely aware of the shortage of property coming to market, have pushed up their prices by an average of £3,503. They have a window of opportunity to make a sale and move into their next home before Christmas, a common goal among home movers.
For further statistics or to download the Rightmove September 2009 House Price Index please visit - http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/house-price-index, or find house prices in your location on Rightmove.