House prices likely to fall as economic uncertainty persists, says Hometrack

The gap between housing supply and demand is widening, a survey has found.

The monthly national housing survey from property research firm Hometrack found that the number of new properties coming to the market in the nine months up until September grew by 22%, compared with an 11% increase in demand.

The number of new buyers registering with agents in September 2011 was 2.6% lower than the number who registered in August, and the researchers expect continued economic uncertainty to contribute to a drop in demand as winter approaches.

House prices have now been falling for 15 consecutive months, since July 2010. Prices in September fell by 0.1%, and were down across a quarter of the country. However, growth in London has averaged +0.2% per month and the capital continues to act as a support to prices.

Houses in London are averaging six weeks on the market, which compares favourably with eight weeks in southern England as a whole, and 11 weeks in the North, Midlands and Wales.   

The percentage of properties achieving the asking price is lowest in northern England, where achieved prices are around 9% below asking prices. This trend is likely to mean higher than average price drops in the region.    

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, commented:

“A number of the 1,500 agents and surveyors responding to the survey are reporting a growing pressure from sellers wanting to secure sales before the year-end.

“They also highlight that an increasing proportion of properties are lingering on the market. These are typically properties that do not easily fit the profile of demand for the local market and are likely to be seen as overpriced.

“In order to attract buyers and enable sales to take place, these properties will be subject to price adjustments and ultimately kick-start a new phase of re-pricing across the market.”