More to come? Or is this it? The strongest December for nine years, says Rightmove

This is proving the strongest December for the housing market since 2006, Rightmove said this morning. It is forecasting more rises next year, just as the International Monetary Fund is warning that rising house prices in the UK pose a threat to the economy.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, said: ‘House prices are still growing faster and higher than income grows.”

Separately, housing market analyst Henry Pryor said this could be the moment for the market.

Calling the top, he said: “When they ask you ‘How did you know the market had peaked?’ say ‘2 beds in Sw8 for £3.15m'”

His remark on Twitter, referring to the London housing market, follows a two-bedroom apartment being put up for sale through Chestertons at £3.15m. The apartment is in Nine Elms, Battersea, south of the river in London.

Today, Rightmove reported the lowest December dip in asking prices of property new to the market in nine years, at a monthly fall of 1.1%.

It means that annual inflation in new asking prices is now 7.4%.

Rightmove said that buyer inquiries to agents since the beginning of October this year have been up 37%, while the number of properties coming to the market is down 5%, compared with the same period last year.

It puts the average new asking price at £289,452, and is predicting a 6% rise next year.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Whilst a fall in new asking prices is the norm at this time of year, this is December’s best post-financial crash performance, signalling another round of price rises in 2016.

“Despite the shortage of suitable stock in many parts of the market, demand for housing is on the up.

“Although the average price of property coming to market is already up by a hefty 7.4% compared to a year ago, Rightmove forecasts that prices will reach and breach new records next year.”

He said of the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties that comes into force next April 1: “Those looking to expand their property portfolios will be trying hard to find suitable properties to buy and then complete the purchase before the April deadline.

“Those selling for the first time are likely owners of properties suitable for renting out, so they may be best advised to take advantage of any surge in investor activity and market as soon as possible.

“Given that the legal process could take six weeks or so once a buyer is found, they only have between now and the middle of February to take advantage of this artificially induced boost to buyer demand.”

PS: What Rightmove calls December is what most of us would probably call November. Its analysis covers new asking prices between November 8 and December 5.


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One Comment

  1. Woodentop

    Oh dear those warnings are there again. Stock is down and will continue to fall, not enough to go around. Tighten your belts ladies and gentleman and plan ahead. You need to ride out the on-line agents fiasco over the next two to three years for they cannot possibly give the returns they are promising if the numbers are not their for them by tenfold. They will be exposed for what they are and the city and the public will eat them alive.


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