U.K. New Listing Prices Hit Record High In February
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U.K. New Listing Prices Hit Record High In February

Properties coming onto the market had an average price of $660,104, Rightmove finds

By Fang Block
Tue, Feb 22, 2022 10:51amGrey Clock 1 min

The U.K. property market is continuing to see robust activity and price growth this month, as both sellers and buyers fear they’re missing out in the competitive market.

Across the country, new listing prices rose 2.3% month over month in February to a record average of £348,804 ($660,104). The monthly gain, which equated to an increase of £7,785, was the biggest in more than 20 years, according to Rightmove, the U.K.’s largest online real estate portal and property website.

Compared to the same period last year, asking prices jumped 9.5%, the highest annual rate of growth since September 2014, according to Rightmove’s data released Monday.

“High demand and a shortage of available stock are supporting a rise in prices and a new record average asking price this month,” Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said in the report. “However, despite rising costs and rising interest rates, the data right now shows demand rising across the whole of Great Britain, with many people determined to move as we head into the spring home-moving season.”

The number of potential buyers who sent inquiries to agents increased 16% in February from a year ago, with London recording the biggest jump—at 24%—across any region, Rightmove data showed.

The number of new sellers listing their homes for sale was up by 11% year over year, suggesting more sellers are taking advantage of the competitive market, the report said.

“A fear of missing out on one’s dream home is really driving market behavior at the moment, as movers look to do all that they can to avoid the disappointment of being too slow to secure their ideal property,” Mr. Bannister said.

Reprinted by permission of Mansion Global. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication:  February 20, 2022

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House values continued to fall last month, but the pace of decline has slowed, CoreLogic reports.

In signs that the RBA’s aggressive approach to monetary policy is making an impact, CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reveals national dwelling values fell -1.0 percent in November, marking the smallest monthly decline since June.

The drop represents a -7.0 percent decline – or about $53,400 –  since the peak value recorded in April 2022. Research director at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said the Sydney and Melbourne markets are leading the way, with the capital cities experiencing the most significant falls. But it’s not all bad news for homeowners.

“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of -2.3 percent,” he said. “That has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of -1.3 percent in November.  In July, Melbourne home values were down -1.5 percent over the month, with the monthly decline almost halving last month to -0.8%.”

The rate of decline has also slowed in the smaller capitals, he said.  

“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls,” Mr Lawless said. “However, it’s fair to say housing risk remains skewed to the downside while interest rates are still rising and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched.” 

The RBA has raised the cash rate from 0.10 in April  to 2.85 in November. The board is due to meet again next week, with most experts still predicting a further increase in the cash rate of 25 basis points despite the fall in house values.

Mr Lawless said if interest rates continue to increase, there is potential for declines to ‘reaccelerate’.

“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire,” Mr Lawless said.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week also reveal a slowdown in the rate of inflation last month, as higher mortgage repayments and cost of living pressures bite into household budgets.

However, ABS data reveals ongoing labour shortages and high levels of construction continues to fuel higher prices for new housing, although the rate of price growth eased in September and October. 

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