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Homeowners stay put

House price survey figures for June show that there is no end in sight for the general stagnation in the property market.  The statistics show that most homeowners, weighed down with an ever-increasing cost of living, are in no mood for relocation. This is extremely bad news for the professions that depend on this; lean times indeed for developers, estate agents and removal firms. Two prime examples of this was the news on 4th July that the building company Barratt intend to cut nearly 15% of its workforce and a few days earlier the announcement by Taylor Wimpey that they plan to close one third of their offices.


The other trend highlighted in the most recent statistics is that of the market performance diverging in different locations. An illustration of this is the fact that the market in Scotland is holding its own, whereas in Northern Ireland, prices are collapsing fast, falling 18.6% over the last 12 months. However, this would be more of a correction than a collapse as prices rose by a whopping 79% in 2006 and 2007 a direct consequence of the peace dividend in the province.


According to the housing information business, Hometrack, prices slipped by a further 1% in June. The number of new buyers registering with agents was down by 5.7% and a property remains on the market for an average of 10.3 weeks before selling. This figure was only six weeks in June 2007. The Hometrack figures also indicate that a property can currently hope to achieve 91.6% of its asking price (down from 95.6% one year ago).



Nationwide say that house prices went down 0.9% in June with the average house price now being £172,415. That's a drop of £13,500 from its peak just over a year ago. Despite all the recent falls, property value is still 4% higher than two years ago and 9% higher than three years ago.


Although the Land Registry lags behind with its figures, it is widely regarded as being the most accurate, because it bases its figures on completions rather than asking prices.