House prices DID go down last year while demand and supply both dwindled, says haart

Actual average house prices across England and Wales went down on both a monthly and an annual basis in December, estate agents haart have reported.

The ‘actual’ data from haart’s own sales information contradicts other figures which suggest that house prices have continued to rise.

However, from its own network’s data across some 100 offices, haart reports that house prices at SSTC stage finished the year at £224,991 – down 1.6% on November, and down 3.3% on December the precious year.

The agent also reports lower demand, lower supply, fewer exchanges, and a collapse in buy-to-let purchasers, all measured across the year.

London house prices did buck the annual trend recorded by haart, finishing the year at £568,511 – 5.9% up on the previous December, although 2.5% down on the month.

The number of exchanges was 3.1% up on November but 17% down on the year.

New buyer demand fell by 15.1% on a monthly basis and was down by 38.8% year on year.

Supply was also down – by 16.7% on the month and 7.5% on the year.

The number of landlords registering to buy was also down, by 14.7% on the month and by over half (51.5%) annually across England and Wales.

The fall was at its most pronounced in London where there was a 20.2% decrease measured monthly, and a drop of 65.1% annually.

CEO Paul Smith issued a defiant rallying call, saying that applicant activity in the post-Christmas period is so far up 5% on a year ago.

He said: “If the economy remains sound, renewed interest should translate into higher transaction rates in 2017.

“It is certainly time we all moved on. The idea of Article 50 holding up someone’s decision to buy or sell a home is ridiculous nearly a year on from the referendum, especially as the economy has remained so robust.

“Prices cooling down is a good thing for buyers – now is a great time for them to get a good deal.

“However, the Government can undoubtedly do more to help the property market in 2017.

“Clearly there are no signs of a ceasefire on the ‘War on Landlords’ with a new plan to introduce England’s second home Stamp Duty surcharge in Wales – and no sign of scaling back the damage felt by landlords in England.

“The Government has even wobbled on the publication of the Housing White Paper, which should have been the driving force of fresh new incentives to get house builders building, and this points to a government with a lack of a coherent strategy to help solve the housing crisis.

“It is crucial that the Government gets this right.

“We need to look at more creative housing solutions in 2017. Clearly the current shortage is not sustainable and more thinking outside the box is needed to get first- time buyers into the homes they so desperately want.”


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  1. AndrewOverman

    Shocking. I only ever see the figure go up when haart “value” a home here. The only thing that’s gone down is their fee! One of the worst for time on market and percentage of stock reduced. Perhaps realistic appraisals instead of “buying the listing” would ensure a timely sale and best price, for the most important person in all this (no not your PnL) the client!

    1. Rivero

      Spot on! It makes me laugh/despair (depending on my mood) the way Paul Smith is regularly quoted on here, and writes his own articles, with an air of superiority preaching how he feels the industry should move and act…when his own staff and offices conduct themselves as we all know they do. Frankly it is a joke.

    2. NewsBoy

      Also interesting to see how Haarts seem to completely contradict ONS and LR!

      I can’t possibly believe there is some sort of self interest here??

  2. Robert May

    According to my numbers average transaction prices  of just under 900,000 sales across England and Wales rose by 4% in the 12 months November 2015- November 2016  ending up at £279,905


    1. Shaun77

      I’m guessing a largish increase Nov to May (nearly a year!) with a softening June to Oct?

      1. Shaun77

        Not suggesting Brexit related, just a fall away in demand since early 2016 feeding through to 2nd half completions…

        1. Robert May

          London began falling back before  the Brexit vote was announced, it was over inflating to such an extent I was commenting in Summer 2014 about a likely contraction of prices,  by summer 2015 that was already in evidence.  I will have a look and see if I am able to spot any macro trends in  the data.

  3. Shaun77

    Since when is 7 months “nearly” a year? Given Haarts notorious reputation for overvaluing to buy instructions, perhaps they’ve become used to telling vendors that offers coming in at 58% are “nearly” asking price…

  4. Property Paddy

    In my area Haart have the most property for sale,

    That said they have the 2nd longest time on market, according to RM

    They also took on less property than my office last year.

    My office has the least property for sale (on account over 50% is SSTC)

    we are also number 1 lister in the area

    And we have seen house price increase of 7% this last 12 months.

    We don’t over value neither.

    Dear Mr Smith

    Perhaps you need to retrain your staff ?




  5. mrharvey

    And everyone else says prices went up, if anything – and will continue to do so this year. Not sure if I agree with Mr Smith here. Rest of the figures too obvious to ignore.

  6. Rivero

    “Haart reports that house prices at SSTC stage finished the year at £224,991 – down 1.6% on November, and down 3.3% on December the precious year.”  –  Translation: Haart’s average sale price has declined, almost certainly in contradiction to the UK average.

    “The agent also reports lower demand, lower supply, fewer exchanges, and a collapse in buy-to-let purchasers, all measured across the year.”  –  Translation: Haart’s performance has declined over the last year.

    Hardly gound-breaking.

    If Mr Smith wishes to view these stats as indicative of the broader market that is his prerogative, I would advise he be more introspective than that.

    In my opinion Haart’s in-house network data is of dwindling relevance to a wider market view.

  7. wardy

    Sorry Paul, says more about Haart than it does the market.


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