Housing market set to stabilise, says survey

01 March 2005
A survey by property website Hometrack has found signs in UK house prices to encourage the housing market.

Despite a 0.2 per cent fall in values in February, Hometrack said the number of new buyers registering for sales and the number of agreed sales rose while the amount of time it takes to sell a house fell.

House prices provide a number of encouraging signs, Hometrack asserts. The February fall was the smallest since August, but still represented the eighth month in a row where prices have fallen.

The average house now costs £162,500, down from its June 2004 peak of £167,700, when prices stood just 0.3 per cent higher than the same time last year - the smallest annual gain in the three-and-a-half year history of the Hometrack index.

Hometrack economist John Wriglesworth took the number of positive indicators to mean that house prices are set to reverse their eight-month decline in March.

"Commentators forecasting a housing market crash will soon have to revise their forecasts," he asserted.

Other good signs include the first fall in the time it takes to sell a house since May 2004, and the first increase in the number of sales achieving the asking price since April last year.

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