July asking prices fall but Rightmove remains upbeat
On average asking prices are around £2,000 lower than those brought to the market in June, leading to a fall in the annual rate of growth from 7.7 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
Despite the typical seasonal lull in July, exacerbated by stricter mortgage criteria from the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules, Rightmove has upgraded its 2014 forecast for the annual increase in asking prices.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said it had decided to revise its forecast made in December last year to the top end of its 6 per cent to 8 per cent range because of the demand for more expensive properties coming from third-time buyers.
He explained: “We forecast a slower-paced second half of 2014, but with bigger-deposit third-time movers entering the fray and lenders still having lending targets to meet, there is still enough momentum to see an 8 per cent national average increase in new seller asking prices.
“The fundamentals for making 2014 the year to move still hold good.”
Research by Rightmove of 27,000 homebuyers who were looking to purchase in the next 12 months revealed that 46 per cent of those looking were third-time buyers.
Shipside said Help to Buy, which has improved the availability of homes for those at the bottom-end of the ladder, had helped to unlock the middle section of the market.
He added: “The biggest and most active group of those looking for a new place to live are those with access to larger deposits: Third-timers who have built up equity on at least two previous moves.
“They are home owners who have often been holding back as the decision to move has considerable impacts on finances and family. But they now have increased chances of making a sale at their desired price and raising deposits that will get them through the MMR barriers.
“The unleashing of this more affluent group, plus good supporting acts from first-time and second-time buyers, will mean that the musical chairs of trading up and down will continue in the second half of the year having been kick-started by Help to Buy in the first half.”