- By Region
House price growth across England and Wales stalled in June, a survey has shown, prompting fears that the value of houses may soon start to fall.
Data from the Hometrack monthly housing survey show that price growth halted last month after three consecutive months of price rises. The supply of homes for sales continued to grow, according to the property analyst, while demand fell by 0.5 per cent compared with May 2012.
Headline month-on-month price changes outside London were negative, while the London market saw a 0.3 per cent price increase.
“Overall, we expect uncertainty and weaker demand to result in prices slipping by 1-2 per cent over the next six months” said Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack.
A glimmer of hope regarding the strength of the housing market came from a different survey, showing that the proportion of first-time buyers among those who declared an interest to buy within the next 12 months is at its highest level for nearly three years.
The survey, conducted by the property website Rightmove, showed that in the second quarter of 2012 first-time buyers made up some 28 per cent of those who claimed they intended to purchase a house in the next 12 months. This was the highest proportion since the end of 2009, and up almost four percentage points from the first three months of 2012.
A high proportion of first-time buyers among perspective purchasers is seen as the sign of an active and healthy housing market. Before the credit crunch, it was in the region of 40 per cent.