House prices have fallen for the 16th consecutive month according to the Hometrack October survey. This pours cold water on recent claims that the market is picking up.
Hometrack says that the average house price has fallen by 3.5 per cent to £160,000 over the past 12 months from a peak of £167,000 in June 2004.
In October, house prices were discounted even more than in September according to the survey.
In September, houses sold for on average 93.2 per cent of their asking prices, whereas in October this fell slightly to 93.1 per cent suggesting that it is still a buyers’ market.
“Buyers are continuing to negotiate large discounts off the asking price, and have greater bargaining power,” Hometrack said.
However, on a more positive note, the average time taken to sell a house has decreased marginally from 8.1 weeks in September to eight weeks in this month’s survey.
Also there are more buyers in the market. The number of registered buyers went up 2.2 per cent last month, bringing the total increase this year to 22 per cent. And there have been more sales this month with activity up 5.9 per cent on last month, and 15.5 per cent over the past three months.
But supply still exceeds demand and the number of properties for sale has increased by 30 per cent since the beginning of the year and 1.9 per cent last month.
Hometrack predicts that house prices will continue to fall until supply and demand realign.