Mortgage market recovery cannot halt house price falls

17 November 2009 / by Andy Davies

House prices are predicted to fall over the next three months, according to Rightmove.co.uk, despite mortgage availability improving in recent months.

Rightmove's House Price Index has revealed that new sellers have lowered their asking prices on average by around £3,700, which means the average house price will now stands at just under £226,500 compared to £230,200 last month.

The 1.6 per cent decrease compares with falls of 2.9 per cent in the same period last year and 0.7 per cent fall in November 2007.

Miles Shipside, commercial director at Rightmove is not surprised house prices have become to fall in the lead up to Christmas.

“In all but the most buoyant of markets, home moving comes second to Christmas festivities. While the market has recovered from some dreadful lows, this month’s price fall proves that it does not yet have the strength to buck seasonal trends," he said.

Mr Shipside is anticipating that the mortgage market will has a "tentative recovery" in early spring followed by "pre-election jitters".

Despite predictions that house prices are set to fall, November's index shows a 1.6 per cent increase on last November's prices, with Rightmove suggesting that fewer properties available has helped the market stabilise.

However, despite mortgage availability improving throughout 2009, Rightmove claims that the low volume transactions and new property listings "means that liquidity in the housing market remains restricted".

Meanwhile, the property website has urged potential homebuyers to act quickly to avoid missing on the stamp duty incentive, which exempts properties between £125,000 and £175,000 from one per cent tax, as it is due to end on the 31 December.

"Buyers hopeful of beating the stamp duty deadline should not leave it to the eleventh hour, especially if their legal team are not working over the festive break," Mr Shipside added.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd