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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

House prices in England, Wales slump again

LONDON: House prices in England and Wales ticked down again in July and are expected to fall further despite signs that demand is picking up somewhat, a survey by property data firm Hometrack showed on Monday.

Prices fell by 0.1% for a third month in a row, Hometrack said, which left them 3.9% below last July’s level.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said that while prices are likely to ease further, the market was showing signs of stabilisation as sellers became more realistic about possible deals.

Donnell noted that the gap between houses on offer and demand closed to reach its lowest level in eighteen months in July as more buyers entered the market.

The number of sales agreed in England and Wales had increased by 20% in the last two months, he said.

Hometrack put the increase in buyers down to low interest rates and a growing number of people who want to move home four years into the economic downturn.

London and East Anglia bucked the general trend, recording a price increase of 0.3%.

House prices are widely expected to fall further because high inflation, rising taxes and slow wage increases squeeze households’ budgets.

By Reuters

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