Distressed sellers driving the gloomy housing market down cut average asking prices by a dramatic £4,345 or 1.8 per cent in July, new figures out today show.
The 1.8 per cent fall in values this month follows a 1.2 per cent drop in June, as house prices registered their first year-on-year decline since property website Rightmove started to compile market figures.
Homes in Britain now cost 2 per cent less than a year ago, Rightmove said, although other figures suggest the fall in the last 12 months has been even more severe. Earlier in the month lender Halifax said prices were 6.1 per cent lower than last summer.
Unsold stock has hit record levels in spite of falling levels of property coming onto agents’ books, Rightmove said. This year the average number of unsold properties rose from 74 to 77, the highest figure ever recorded.
Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove said low transaction levels were a bigger threat to the economy than falling house prices.
“The drop in transaction levels is the most alarming characteristic of the current market . As well as job losses in both the residential and commercial property industry, there is a massive knock-on effect to other areas of the economy as consumers spend less as they feel less confident and less well off,” he said.