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September 2, 2008

Hometrack: Property prices fall for eleventh consecutive month

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by Kay Mitchell

Hometrack: Property prices fall for eleventh consecutive month

According to the latest house price index from Hometrack, UK house prices have fallen for the eleventh month in a row.

The housing intelligence company said annual falls now total 5.3% – this represents the lowest level since the survey commenced in 2001.

In August, prices fell by 0.9% after declines of 1% and 1.2% in June and July respectively, said Hometrack.

Richard Donnell of Hometrack explained when the market turns, it can take as long as 2-3 years for prices to reach realistic levels and we are now well into this process.

Meanwhile, the organisation said it now takes 11 weeks to secure the sale of a property, this is up from 10.3 weeks in June.

Hometrack also established that properties are now only achieving 90.7% of the asking price.

Mr Donnell added that a small but increasing amount of estate agents reported that buyer interest was improving due to lower prices.

As we continue to move to more reasonable levels of pricing, this trend could increase over the autumn period, concluded Mr Donnell.

Today, the Government has announced that from tomorrow, properties costing less than £175,000 will be exempt from stamp duty for the next 12 months.

The current £125,000 threshold is being increased in a bid to kick-start the housing market which has been slowing due to falling house prices and the mortgage squeeze.


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