Slight growth in house prices in July: Rightmove

Would-be home buyers are encountering more

The North East saw the biggest month-on-month fall in asking prices, with a 1.3 per cent decline, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber with a 1 per cent fall and the North West and East of England, where prices fell by 0.7 per cent.

Citing a survey done by property website Rightmove, the Reuters agency reported that house prices were up 0.1% month-on-month between 11 June and 8 July.

Rightmove suggested that although supply of new properties coming onto the market is low while demand is relatively strong, the amount buyers can afford is acting as a "price brake". On an annual basis prices went up 2.8%.

He concludes: "After all, Rightmove's data is based largely on listed stock and asking prices, and is just a mere toe dip into the United Kingdom property market pool, and it doesn't necessarily portray the overall temperature of the market, as a sale agreed doesn't guarantee it will be completed".

But with consumers facing rising inflation and slower wage growth, there were signs that some properties had hit their price ceiling.

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Rightmove said that the average asking price of a home listed for sale on its website - over 90% of United Kingdom estate agents list homes on the portal - increased by 0.1% month-on-month, taking the annual rise in prices to 2.8% compared with a 1.8% increase in June, with all regions seeing a year-on-year price rises.

Meanwhile, average housing stock per agent was flat, at 60 in June, while the average time to sell increased by one day, to 60, which is two days longer than the same time past year. The Bank of England is also debating whether to raise interest rates to keep inflation in check.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and its housing market analyst. "In the North, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham continue to enjoy strong performance, whilst across the country, first-time buyers have also doubled in number from the market low of 2009".

Mr Shipside said: 'Wage growth is muted, there are signs that consumer credit is tightening, and at some point there will be the first rise in mortgage interest rates for a decade or more which will come as a shock to buyers who have either forgotten or have never experienced interest rates going up as well as down. The annual rate of price gains was nearly 8 per cent in May a year ago.

More than 45 per cent of agents' property stock was sold subject to contract - the highest proportion ever recorded by Rightmove since it began monitoring the trend seven years ago. 'Sellers coming to market at this time of year have to price more keenly as the traditionally bubblier spring selling season is over and prospective buyers are distracted by their own summer holiday plans'.

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