We’re calling top of the market, say London agents

Leading agents in London have called the top of the market, saying that agents need to adjust their prices – while this morning, Hometrack is reporting the first signs of a slowdown elsewhere.

According to Hometrack, prices are still going up – but at a slower rate – while there have also been slower rises in the number of new applicants and sales agreed.

Time on the market has also inched up from 6.3 weeks in April to 6.5 weeks this month.

Reporting for May, this morning’s Hometrack report said that property prices went up by 0.5%, compared with rises of 0.6% in both March and April.

While there was a 2% rise in the number of new applicants, this compared with 6.6% in March and a 3.3% rise in April.

And while there was a 3.7% rise in the number of sales agreed, this was down on the 14% monthly rise in March and that of 7.2% in April.

Although there were house price rises in 42% of postcode districts this month, that proportion is down from 50% in both the two previous months.

Hometrack said it expects to see further signs of slowing house price momentum in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, in London, Peter Rollings, of Marsh & Parsons, called the top of the market –  a view backed by Ed Mead, of Douglas & Gordon.

Rollings said: “In the past six weeks, we have seen the wind change in the property landscape, restoring a new calm and steadiness to the market.

“Property prices have plateaued as more property has come on to the market; however, demand continues to outweigh supply, in what is still a ‘seller’s market’.

“This renaissance of supply is offering buyers more choice than they’ve enjoyed in recent months and is also good news for sellers searching for their onward purchase.

“That said, sellers should be prepared to adapt to these cooling conditions.”

He added: “House price rises may have grabbed the headlines this year – but double-digit annual increases are not sustainable, and as the market self-regulates itself, sellers and estate agents need to adjust their price expectations accordingly.”

Ed Mead went further than Rollings, saying the market has already slowed and that “press talk” is only just beginning to catch up.

He said buyers have “reached the limit of their elasticity”.

He went on to say that the situation was not helped by “unscrupulous agents” fighting for instructions telling sellers they could still get high prices – despite evidence to the contrary.

Ed Mead’s thoughts are on Eye today.

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4 Comments

  1. phoenix

    We have already seen the same in our market place in Kent. Open days are still producing results however many sellers over recent weeks will regret not accepting offers made as the market is showing not only clear signs of levelling out, but cooling.

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  2. wilko

    Have to agree…same in our areas. Up to £250,000 still creates alot of interest, but there is more and more properties that are now "sitting" on the market with less interest. Vendors seem very reluctant to consider reductions……wonder why?……maybe it's the media.
    Still when AM launches, their member offices won't have any problems with unsold property….as one of AMs big draws, for me, is that it is the only portal that will guarentee to sell everything placed on it within 30 mins….brilliant.

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  3. Trevor Mealham

    CENTRAL London – £high end is likely to keep rising. Hometrack figures back this up. There is still a shortage of right value stock, so agents who are desperate will overvalue to see those properties then have to reduce. It doesnt mean all properties are slowing or dropping, but in cases desperate agents overvalued.

    What's more its estimated that along the Thames last building sites will run out in the next two years. Its then how do you build a metropolis – upwards – or out. One requires buying old to demolish. The other requires good transport links to outer sites.

    With current sites due to run out, supply and demand says that prices should retain if not still go up in the centre.

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  4. surrey1

    Surrey stockbroker belt much the same. Price it right and away it goes, try to pitch up on March prices and nada. Not many agents having the confidence to share a more measured view with potential clients and hoping a long sole agency might see them to success eventually. Think we'll see a lot more second bites at stock as some still promise packed open days and likely sealed bids and deliver not a lot. Seen some very silly fees about this year, should right itself too. A welcome return to normality, whatever that is!

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