- Reuters / Hannah McKay
- Rightmove said the average number of days required to sell a house in London had increased in January to 78 from 71 days the previous month.
- That is a worrying trend for sellers.
- Rightmove also said asking prices dipped in January to their lowest since August 2015.
LONDON – London’s once-hot property market shows further signs of cooling at the start of 2018, according to a report from Rightmove.
The report said the average number of days required to sell a house in London had increased in January to 78 from 71 days the previous month. That is a worrying trend for sellers because falling transaction volumes – the overall number of which homes are being bought and sold – often predict price dips.
Rightmove also said asking prices dipped in January to their lowest since August 2015, with new sellers cutting prices 1.4% in the month to an average of £600,926 ($825,762).
Rightmove director Miles Shipside said the data offered a “bout of realism rather than the usual New Year optimism.”
The London slowdown – which is already starting to bite, with negative price growth measured in the fourth quarter – is being driven by bloated prices in the capital, slow progress in Brexit negotiations, and worries about further interest rate hikes from the Bank of England, which drive up mortgage costs.
Forecasts across the industry are largely pretty pessimistic about the state of the market this year. Nationwide said prices would be “broadly flat in 2018, with perhaps a marginal gain of around 1%.” Halifax said growth would be somewhere between 0% and 3%.
Savills forecast a drop of 2% in 2018 despite prices rising nationally. The estate agent predicts that prices in Greater London will fall 1.5% over 2017 then fall by a further 2% in 2018, before stabilising in 2019 and returning to growth the year after.