UK property prices: As house prices continue to rise, people have just stopped moving house

Emma Haslett
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Londoners are still expecting house prices to rise (Source: Getty)

Hot on the heels of Deutsche Bank calling the top of the capital's housing market, a survey by Knight Frank has suggested the number of people moving house has fallen to the lowest level since it began its survey in April 2014.

The upmarket estate agent, which conducted its study with Markit, said just 4.6 per cent of households are expecting to buy a home over the next 12 months, down from 5.9 per cent in September.

Meanwhile, expectations of future house prices have slipped to their lowest level since February this year. The house price sentiment index, which measures homeowners' expectations of future house prices, dipped to 68.7 in October, from 70 in September.

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Given the figure is above 50, which denotes growth, it suggests the majority of households expect prices to keep increasing. But the index remains below its peak of 75.1 recorded in May last year.

Not surprisingly, Londoners and those in the South East expected the strongest growth over the next 12 months, with readings of 78.4 and 75.8 respectively, while those in the North East and Wales were at the other end of the scale, with readings of 53.6 and 60.7.

Meanwhile, just under 21 per cent of the 1,500 households surveyed suggested the value of their home had risen over the past month, while 4.8 per cent said prices had fallen. That put the house price sentiment index at 58.1 in October, down from 59.3 in September, and "firmly below" the peak of 63.2 recorded in May last year.

Gráinne Gilmore, Knight Frank's head of residential research, said the slowdown in sentiment reflected falling prices across the country.

"The number of people saying they are planning to buy a home within the next year fell to the lowest level recorded since we first starting asking this question in April 2014.

"This may not only be reflecting affordability concerns, but also the availability of stock on the market, as houses listed with estate agencies across the country remains close to record lows.”

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