Latest indicators suggest house prices will come under more pressure in 2008

The average time to sell property was at a six-year high in December. It took 8.3 weeks to sell a home, the highest figure since 2001 according to Hometrack’s monthly national housing survey.

House prices fell for the third month in a row, slipping 0.3%. This bought the overall growth rate for 2007 down to 3%.

Richard Donnell, Hometrack’s director of research, said that the house price falls had been “concentrated in areas where the market has been generally week over the course of 2007 or where the market has slowed off a high base”.

The past six months saw a weakening in market activity, with sales volumes down by 18%. Donnel said the confidence of would-be buyers had been hit by higher interest rates and concerns over the outlook for the financial markets.

Hometrack predicted that house prices would be under more pressure in 2008. Donnel said: “High transaction costs, a weak outlook for prices and continued uncertainty among vendors creates the potential for a major lack of housing coming to the market in the first quarter of the year.”