House prices set to slump again

This is the prediction from analytics firm Hometrack, which also identified that prices in London have finally stopped rising after seven months.

This will drag national house price movements down in the coming months, it claimed.

The firm said demand for housing fell 0.2% in October while the amount of property on the market rose 1.3%, threatening further falls in property values.

Nationally house prices have tumbled 2.8% in the past year while in October above average price falls were registered in the West Midlands (-0.6%), East Midlands (-0.4%) and the North East (-0.4%).

Hometrack piled the gloom on further saying the number of areas registering price falls increased over October – over a third (34%) of postcodes saw price falls, compared to 25% in September.

The firm said: “The balance between supply and demand is clearly shifting and points to an acceleration in price falls in the coming months.

“Weaker demand is starting to impact on the average time on the market which has grown for the last three months and currently stands at 9.8 weeks.

“However, October did see a rise in the number of sales agreed (6.3%) as vendors look to agree sales and move before the end of the year.”

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, explained the shift was down to fears among consumers that the economy was in for a tough time again.

“Growing consumer concern over the outlook for the economy is beginning to impact directly on house prices.

“Above average price falls in the Midlands and the North East together with static prices in London lie behind the increase in the headline price fall.

“Above average price rises in London have flattered the headline rate of growth over recent months and a slowdown in the capital will have a knock-on impact on the scale of price changes nationally in the months ahead.”