UK asking prices at ‘virtual standstill’ as market hits summer doldrums

0.1% monthly rise recorded by Rightmove, taking the annual increase to 2.8%

Rightmove’s UK-wide monthly tracker has recorded a +0.1% rise in the average price of newly-marketed properties in July, taking the annual movement to +2.8%.

That’s an improvement on the fall of -0.4% seen in May and the -1% drop seen during June last year, when the market had the EU Referendum to contend with, but overall asking prices are at a “virtual standstill”, says the portal.

Despite all the political upheaval, H1 2017 and H1 2016 look remarkably similar in terms of sales volumes, although June saw +4.6% more sales agreed and +7.6% more properties brought to market than in the same month a year earlier.

The report flags up that nearly half the properties on the market, over 45%, are marked as SSTC – the highest proportion seen since 2010.

Miles Shipside Rightmove: “The half way point of 2017 is a useful time to make a comparison with the previous year and the number of sales being agreed by agents is uncannily within fractions of a percent of the number at the same half-way point of last year.

“This year and last year have had their own shocks and distortions, but these statistics show that the distractions have been short-lived and have now evened themselves out.

“While the number of existing owners coming to market this month is up in eight out of ten regions compared to a year ago, giving more fresh choice, it has to be kept in mind that the comparison is against a subdued new listing period in 2016 around the time of the referendum.

Shipside added: “Prices are in the summer doldrums. Sellers coming to market at this time of year have to price more keenly as the traditionally bubblier spring selling season is over and prospective buyers are distracted by their own summer holiday plans.

“A year on from the shock referendum result and subsequent dent in activity levels, the fundamentals remain strong.

“Low unemployment, low interest rates, strong demand and historic undersupply of homes are mitigating any wobbles in confidence.”