House prices in the UK remained unchanged in May as the expiration of stamp duty exemption for first time home buyers and Eurozone crisis damped demand, a survey by Rightmove revealed Monday.
New seller asking prices failed to rise in May from a month earlier. Prices remained steady for the first time since the inception of the house price index 11 year ago, Rightmove said in the survey report. The average asking price of property was GBP 243,759.
The latest outcome was in line with expectations and followed a 2.9 percent increase in April.
Both demand and supply fell during May. Demand lessened through a combination of end of first-time buyer stamp duty assistance, some upward mortgage rate movements and renewed Eurozone jitters, the report said.
The number of properties coming to market declined 10 percent on a month-on-month basis. According to Rightmove, overall market volumes look set to remain subdued in 2012 as the motivation of new sellers to come to market has stalled too.
"It is a cause for concern that the market appears to have lost its spring momentum, as there is likely to be a longer than normal summer slowdown too, thanks to the extra distractions of the Jubilee and two major sporting events," the report said.
Rightmove Director Miles Shipside said the post-stamp duty holiday lull in first-time buyers, and the upward chains they help to build, appears to have made the market pause for breath, taking the wind out of spring market sales a little earlier than usual.
"If Greece defaults then the knock-on effects could be a further reduction in mortgage availability and weakening consumer sentiment causing even more potential buyers to sit on their hands," he added.
London house prices rose 0.9 percent month-on-month to GBP 469,314 in May. On an annual basis, prices at national level rose 2 percent, slower than the 3.4 percent increase in April.
by RTT Staff Writer
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