House prices fall for the first time this year
The prices being asked for houses have, according to the Rightmove House Price Index, fallen for the first time this year. The fall of 0.8% is of course an average and some areas of the country have seen falls greater than this, the North and East Midlands taking a bigger hit than some of the hot property areas such as Bristol and Portsmouth, greater London seeing a fall of only 0.4%.
It is not unusual to see a slowdown in the housing market at this time of year, with holidays in full swing and this year the added distraction of the football World Cup has also had an effect on the market. In some quarters, the rumours that mortgages will be more difficult to obtain and fears that interest rates before the forthcoming election will rise, making repayments more costly.
However, in spite of these falls, some areas of the country are facing a supply crisis and this is spreading outside of London. The prices in London has meant that buyers are looking to snap up homes in, not just the traditional commuter belt, but places such as Bristol and Portsmouth, here the supply is close to a saturation point. Development across the UK has slowed down due to lack of available land and when a parcel does come onto the market, it is quickly snatched up, often by foreign buyers.