Relief for buyers as soaring house prices moderate

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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PROSPECTIVE London home buyers are set to benefit as price growth slows over Christmas and could remain subdued throughout 2015.

Houses prices dropped by 5.1 per cent from November to December, online property market platform Rightmove said today.

Average house prices in December have so far been £570,706 compared with November’s £601,180.

However, the average house price still marks an annual climb of 11.1 per cent – the average house price in December 2013 was £513,466.

The pre-Christmas lull tends to hit London harder than the rest of the country as owners of more expensive properties are able to postpone selling. Sellers who did come to market often had a pressing need to sell and therefore price lower, Rightmove said.

Rightmove predicts that London will not be the price rise powerhouse leading the rest of the country in 2015. The company forecasts house price growth of between one and three per cent next year.

Stamp duty changes raise tax payable on houses over £1m while the threat of a mansion tax on properties over £2m will persist until May’s general election. Another factor affecting London will be stretched affordability.

“With the froth having gone off the market and more choice available, buyers have more negotiating power,” said Rightmove director Miles Shipside.

“The number of properties coming to market is up by nearly 17 per cent compared to 2013 with sellers starting to price more sensibly as a result.”

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