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Vendor numbers dive 45%

Rightmove's House Price Index shows that just 75,140 new sellers came onto the market this month compared with 137,442 at the same time last year.

Meanwhile, the average property asking price has increased by 1.2%, or £2,593, since January 2009, taking the average asking price to £216,163. Year-on-year figures show that the average price has declined by £21,693 (9.1%) compared with February 2008 - the greatest decrease Rightmove has ever recorded.

This is in contrast to the portal's Consumer Survey earlier this month, which found that nine out of 10 home movers said it is a bad time to sell.

Miles Shipside commercial director of Rightmove, says: "In spite of 25,000 out of 28,000 potential home movers in the Rightmove Survey stating it was a bad time to sell, sellers appear to have ignored their fellow home movers' assessment of market conditions and put prices up.

"Sales are being achieved at around 25% below peak prices, yet new sellers coming to market are starting out asking an average of only 10% less. Serious sellers need to set their initial asking price more realistically to get one up on the competition and take advantage of increasing numbers of bargain hunters who have set their own price floor ahead of the return of mainstream purchasers."

Nonetheless, while asking prices increased in the North, Yorkshire and Humberside, East Midlands, South East, Greater London, South West and the West Midlands, price falls were recorded in the North West, East Anglia and Wales.

Prices increased the most in the West Midlands, by 5.3%, taking the average price in February to £177,350. This was closely followed by Yorkshire and Humber, where prices increased by 4%, to £153,700. 

In contrast, prices in East Anglia fell most sharply (by 4.4%) taking the average price to £206,259.

January enquiries have also reached an all-time high for the portal, up 108% on last year; however, Rightmove says that some agents are reporting 40 to 50 viewings per weekend with no resulting offers.

Shipside says: "Estate agents always deal with a vast number of enquiries, often needing to register 100 applicants for every successful sale. However, current pent-up demand is being frustrated by banks, building societies and indeed the taxpayer contributing insufficient funds to potential borrowers."

Peter Rollings, the managing director of London-Based agency Marsh & Parsons, is more optimistic about the dramatic rise in enquiries after more than 1,000 new buyers registered with the agency in January.

He says: "It's worth noting that since 1945, property prices appreciated by 174% in any 10-year period. I don't know for certain that we have reached the bottom, however what I do know is that in two years London property prices will be higher than they are now and in five years they will be substantially higher."

 

 

 


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