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House price growth falls back as signs of slowdown emerge

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Written by: Lana Clements
30/05/2022
House prices hit a new record in April but signs of a market slowdown are emerging, data shows.

The typical home value has hit £250,200, as measured by property site Zoopla, after prices increased by 8.4% year-on-year.

However, price reductions increased with one in 20 cutting back by 5% or more, compared to one in 22 in March.

The average reduction on reduced homes was 9%, equivalent to £22,500 when applied to the typical value.

Sales are also taking longer, going from 16 days in March to 18 days in April outside London, and from 17 to 21 days for the capital.

Price growth fell from 9% in March and is tipped to tumble to around 3% by the end of the year.

Cost-of-living crisis starting to affect the market

Zoopla made the prediction as homeowners face increased pressure on their finances from the cost-of-living crisis.

Average cost of repayments for a new mortgage for an average home have increased by £71 a month, when taking rising house prices and interest rates into account, the property site said.

Demand still outstrips supply, which is supporting the market, as homes for sale are down by more than a third compared to the five-year average.

London has the smallest shortfall in stock compared to demand while the East Midlands has the biggest.

Gráinne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: “High levels of buyer demand mean that the market is still moving quickly, but the time to sell – the time taken between listing a property and agreeing a sale – is starting to rise across most property types in most locations.

“We expect that this measure will continue to rise during the rest of the year as buyer demand levels start to fall, punctured by changing sentiment around the cost of living and personal finances.”

Vincent Dennington, director at agency John D Wood and Co., added: “We are starting to see more and more price reductions on property portals, which is perhaps an early indication that the market is slowing down. However, this may also be a sign that properties have been initially overpriced and are not achieving any interest from potential buyers; therefore needing to be adjusted correctly to ensure a reduction generates new interest and ultimately offers. Typically, reductions should move to at least 5% lower than that of the current marketing price.

“Currently, the market remains buoyant enough that should a property come to market competitively priced, it is likely to create a multi-bid scenario, resulting in final offers going over the guide price. Despite the recent hikes in mortgage rates, they are still cheaper than back in 2015 and the demand remains strong for accurately priced family homes throughout most areas of the UK – now is the right time for vendors to secure their best price.”

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