First fall in asking prices on Rightmove so far this year

Rightmove this morning raised its house price inflation forecast for this year to 8% or above – despite the first fall in asking prices this year.

It said that asking prices for properties new to the market had dipped 0.8% – equivalent to £2,116 – in the last month. The average asking price for a property newly launched on the market is now £253,658.

However, asking prices fall in July more often than not – six times in the last ten years – and Rightmove said it did not attach much significance to the drop.

It had originally predicted house price inflation this year to be 6-8%, but said that “frenetic” activity in the first part of the year had led to a review of its forecast.

While Rightmove said that the Mortgage Market Review had dampened down the market, nevertheless Bank of England mortgage approvals are still running at an average of over 60,000 a month – 23% higher in the year to date than during the same period in 2013, and 40% above the 48,162 monthly average in 2012.

Rightmove also said that the two Help to Buy schemes had boosted the first-time buyer market, shifting increased activity higher up the housing ladder.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “The biggest and most active group of those looking for a new place to live are those with access to larger deposits – third-timers who have built up equity on at least two previous moves.

“The unleashing of this more affluent group, plus good supporting acts from first-time and second-time buyers, will mean that the musical chairs of trading up and down will continue in the second half of the year, having been kick-started by Help to Buy in the first half.”

Time on the market is now 65 days, according to the site, while the supply of properties new on to the market is up by nearly 10% so far this year compared with last.

Demand is also up, with 27% more inquiries sent by Rightmove to agents in the first half of 2014 compared with the first half of 2013 – equating to an average of 3.7m inquiries per month.

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