House prices fall in London and the south east despite hitting a fresh record high across the UK as a whole, latest Rightmove figures reveal

Josh Mines
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Prices in the capital have slumped since the Brexit vote

House rices in London and the south east have continued to slump, despite hitting a record high across the UK as a whole.

Asking prices in London were down 0.2 per cent in May compared to the same month last year, according to Rightmove data published today.

In the rest of the south east, asking prices were down 0.1 per cent on the same measure.

Nationally, however, prices were 0.8 per cent higher, with increases above four per cent in both the midlands and Wales.

The average price for property coming to the market rose to an all-time high of £308,075.

Nonetheless, the number of sales agreed by estate agents across the country is down 5.4 per cent in 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

“The last time the south east recorded an annual price fall was in 2011, indicating that the softening in the London market is now spreading to its commuter belt, while there are signs that inner London may be closer to a price recovery,” said Rightmove director Miles Shipside.

Other surveys have pointed to a fall in house prices in the capital since the summer of 2016.

Figures evidence of "fragmented" London market

Property expert and Emoov chief executive Russell Quirk said that the figures were further indication of the "fragmented London market."

"While there is still an appetite amongst London buyers evident by the number of visits to Rightmove, a lack of commitment is resulting in a reduction in the number of sales agreed in the capital," he explained.

"This is hardly surprising when you consider the reality gap between the expectations of stubborn London sellers and the current market climate itself, coupled with a lack of diversity where stock reaching the market is concerned."

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau, added:

This latest report indicates a widening gulf between the expectations of vendors and the affordability of buyers.

Just because there are few properties on the market in any one conurbation, that doesn't necessarily mean that vendors are able to ambitiously price their property if they want to achieve an actual offer.

Going forwards, the savvy agents out there are likely to be pricing properties at more realistic levels in order to achieve a timely sale.