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.”