Home owners ask for less

04 August 2004
If asking prices are indicative it appears the housing market is at last beginning to turn.

Rightmove's most recent index shows prices are starting to decrease across the country, which refutes recent data from Nationwide suggesting that the market is continuing to boom.

Over the three weeks prior to July10th average house prices dropped by 0.5 per cent or £892 (from £196,198 to £195,306).

"This is excellent news for the British consumer and the economy overall," says Miles Shipside, Rightmove's commercial director.

"The strength of the housing market was becoming a source of growing concern to many economic commentators. Consumer borrowing was starting to respond to the rate increases, but the housing market had proved remarkably resilient."

He added: "At last, we are getting incontrovertible evidence that prices are coming off their peaks and that higher borrowing costs are starting to act as a cold shower to douse the flames of the red hot market."

Annual house price inflation has also fallen slightly, Rightmove reports - from 18 per cent in early July to 17.6 per cent now.

These new findings come ahead of tomorrow's decision by the Monetary Policy Committee on whether to raise interest rates this month.

Mr Shipside concluded: "The number of properties available for sale continues to grow, so the astute buyer is well placed to strike a good deal on a home purchase."
DeHavilland Information Services plc