Virgin Home Insurance - Cutting down on cost, not cover

Virgin Home Insurance - Cutting down on cost, not cover

House prices may fall as sellers flood market

26/07/2010

For sale signs

House price gains could be wiped out during the second half of the year as sellers continue to flood the property market, experts have warned.

Asking prices in England and Wales fell for the first time this year during the four weeks to July 10, with the average property worth 0.6% less at £236,332, according to property website Rightmove.

The number of new homes being put up for sale each week - currently averaging 30,000 - is 45% higher than the same period last year.

The rising supply of houses is also reflected in estate agent figures, with an average 77 houses on each firm's books, the highest number since August 2008 and the fifth month in a row that the number has risen.

For every two potential buyers with a mortgage arranged, there are now five new properties on the market vying for their business.

House prices have increased by an average 7%, or £15,506, since the beginning of 2010 to £237,767 in June, but Rightmove believes the signs point to a buyer's market which could see these gains cancelled out during the remainder of the year.

Rightmove commercial director Miles Shipside said: "More aggressive pricing is likely to see the average price gains of 7% for the first half of the year wiped out by year-end, in line with Rightmove's original forecast for the year of no net change in prices."

Copyright © Press Association 2010