House prices in the U.K. declined for the first time in six months in July, while recording the sharpest fall for the month in four years, a survey by Rightmove, published Monday, showed.
Prices dropped 1.7 percent month-on-month to 242,097 pounds. This followed a 1 percent increase in June. Though July data is typically weak, this was the the largest price drop since 2008. Annually, prices at national level rose 2.3 percent in July.
New sellers outnumber successful buyers by an average of nearly 2:1, highlighting the substantial challenge faced by many sellers during this summer of miserable 'viewing' weather and Olympic distractions, the report said.
Rightmove Director Miles Shipside said, "those keen to sell this summer have the challenging confluence of miserable viewing weather, the continuing credit-crunch plus a sporting distraction of Olympic proportions."
"Those who have been on the market for many months might consider the prospects of achieving a sale to be somewhat of an Olympian challenge given that actual sales completions are just half what they were five years ago," Shipside said.
In London, prices fell 3.6 percent month-on-month to 432,641 pounds. Rightmove compiles data from asking prices of properties as they come on the market through its member estate agents over the previous month.
A June survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that housing market activity remained in "doldrums" in June as supply of new property declined and demand remained subdued.
In a report, the Nationwide Building Society said house prices declined at the fastest rate since 2009 in June as a double-dip recession and the end of stamp duty holiday dampened demand. According to the group, the outlook for house prices remained highly uncertain.
by RTT Staff Writer
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