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New signs of life in UK property market?

New signs of life in UK property market?

Data published this month by property search company Rightmove in the UK points towards the potential for increasing activity amongst UK and other expatriate buyers, thinks

With parts of the UK market still suffering from extreme levels of caution, Rightmove has reported that new sellers dropped their  asking prices by 2.6% in November, but the company also noted that this was one of the lowest falls for three years, suggesting many sellers have now reached a point below which they will not offer property onto the market.

Over the 12 months to November, sales prices have risen by an average of 2% (+£4,617), the highest annual rate of increase seen in November since 2007. Although London has contributed much of this activity, even with the “London effect“ removed, prices are still up by 0.2% year-on-year.

Rightmove has also reported an increase in search activity on their own website, up 20%, together with higher levels of enquiries, up 11% on same time last year

International mortgage consultants’s managing director Tim Harvey comments, “We are now seeing several related signs that the UK property market may be about to have a far more active 2013. UK unemployment has not risen as expected and as a result, the level of bank repossessions in the market is low, so there has not been a flood of unwanted stock on the supply side. The Bank of England has also reported mortgage approvals up 9.2% on last quarter and we too have seen an increase in both enquiries and clients going on to purchase property, all of which bodes well for next year.”

International property search consultant Erica Evans added, “In the more sought after parts of London, such as the South West, West and North West postcodes, we have acted for clients who have been prepared to pay over the asking price. The supply side has become so limited for really good property stock that sellers can often be pleasantly surprised if two or three buyers enter a bidding war and we have seen the return of sealed bids on at least two occasions recently, with property in Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush particularly sought after.”

Data from the UK Land Registry showed annual average prices up 1.1% to the end of September, with London alone up 5.5% over the period.

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