Rightmove is warning of likely price falls in the second half of 2022.
Its latest monthly market snapshot actually shows yet another record high average asking price, but it warns: “After a very strong first half of the year, it is likely that affordability constraints will have a greater influence on market behaviour in the months ahead, with further interest rate rises anticipated.
“This, alongside more choice coming onto the market for buyers and the usual seasonal variations we’d expect, means that there are likely to be some month-on-month price falls during the second half of the year.
“We expect this to bring house price growth by the end of the year to around the five per cent we originally predicted in December.”
Price falls - no matter how limited - May present investment opportunities for shrewd landlords.
Rightmove director Tim Bannister says: “The exceptional pace of the market is easing a little, as demand gradually softens and price rises begin to slow, which is very much to be expected given the many record-breaking numbers over the past two years.
“When we look at the number of buyers contacting estate agents compared to 2019 or the pre-pandemic five-year average, demand is still very high compared to what was once considered normal.
“We’re hearing from agents that though they might have had slightly fewer enquirers for each property in recent months, they’re still seeing significant interest from multiple buyers and are achieving successful sales.
“Entering the second half of the year, we anticipate some further slowdown in the pace of price rises, particularly given the worsening affordability challenges that people are facing. We expect this to bring the annual rate of price growth down from the current 9.7 per cent towards the five per cent increase that Rightmove predicted at the beginning of the year.”
Meanwhile the portal’s latest market figures show the price of property coming to market hitting a fifth consecutive record of £368,614, albeit only up by a modest 0.3 per cent in the past month as the pace of price growth slows.
Rightmove also warns that a conveyancing log-jam means that those who are looking to move this year and have yet to act will need to do so in the coming weeks.
It is currently taking 150 days to complete a purchase on average after agreeing a sale, 50 days longer than at this time in 2019.
This means that those who are hoping to complete a deal in time to enjoy next Christmas in a new home, need to come to market in the next few weeks to give themselves the best chance of finding a buyer and completing the transaction by the end of the year.
There are more than 500,000 homes that are currently sold subject to contract, a massive figure which is 44 per cent higher than it was at this time in 2019, and 39 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic five-year average.
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