Not since 2012 have monthly house prices fallen so dramatically, with prices decreasing by 0.5% month-on-month.
It seems as though all recent reports into the housing and conveyancing market deliver apocalypticesque conclusions and a new report by Nationwide perpetuates the summer slowdown stereotype.
The average house price in August was £214,745; in comparison the same property in July was worth £217,010. In fact, house prices declined to such an extent that you would need to go back to May to find a lower average price than August’s.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said: “August saw a slight softening in annual house price growth to 2.0%, from 2.5% in July. Nonetheless, annual house price growth remains within the fairly narrow range of 2-3% which has prevailed over the past 12 months, suggesting little change in the balance between demand and supply in the market.
“Looking further ahead, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve, especially in the labour market, but also with respect to interest rates.
“Subdued economic activity and ongoing pressure on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on house price growth and market activity this year, though borrowing costs are likely to remain low.
“Overall, we continue to expect house prices to rise by around 1% over the course of 2018.”
Estate agent, Jeremy Leaf, said: “the figures were disappointing in that they reflect a period when we would have expected a pick-up in the market over the spring buying season.”
John Eastgate, sales and marketing director at OneSavings Bank, said: “Buyer activity remains pretty depressed as the market comes to terms with economic uncertainty on top of existing obstacles of a lack of supply and increasing affordability challenges.”
Whilst the housing market may have expected a summer transaction slow down as Britain was hit with record breaking heatwaves, the extent of the deceleration and average price reduction may have been more than experts predicted.
Are conveyancers worried by the reduction in house prices? What is the implication for the conveyancing market? Should more be done to protect house prices?