Asking Prices Fall 1.6% in UK: Rightmove
Sellers cut asking prices on housing in the UK by £3,744 (US$6,262.99) this month as the market prepares to move into a seasonal winter lull similar to the one typically seen in the US around the winter holiday months, according to UK property database Rightmove. Average UK prices are down 1.6% from October but up 1.6% from November 2008. The annual increase reflects seven of 10 regions in positive year-on-year territory as recovery extends to northern regions. "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," said commercial director Miles Shipside in commentary on the monthly house price index. "We therefore expect three months of asking price falls before a tentative recovery in early spring... ." The UK market saw a continued shortage of stock in November, which helped to keep prices somewhat stabilized although the low volume also means the market is more sensitive to seasonal volatility, Rightmove said. The low volumes of both transactions and new property listings indicate liquidity remains restricted, which impairs workforce mobility and keeps people stuck in homes that are too large, too small or too far away from jobs. There was no apparent rush in November to take advantage of the moratorium on a land stamp duty, Rightmove noted, as lenders' high down payment requirements typically around 25% or more essentially erased the benefits of the incentive. The moratorium is set to expire December 31. Write to Diana Golobay.