House prices fall across the whole country as buyers sit tight

The decline in the housing market that began in many parts of the country during the summer appears to have spread and accelerated.

New data released today suggest prices are now falling in every part of the country for the first time in 18 months, and that the speed of the drops is gathering pace.

Hometrack, the housing market analyst, said that the average price of a house fell by 0.4 per cent in September, after a 0.3 per cent fall in August and and 0.1 per cent in July. Some 34 per cent of postcodes experienced an average price decrease last month, up from 30 per cent in August and only 12 per cent in July. Price increases were seen in just 2.3 per cent of postcodes.

Richard Donnell, Hometrack's director of research, gave warning that the housing market was likely to deteriorate further. "This is part of an ongoing repricing process which began six months ago and is set to stretch well into 2011," he said. "The markets is entering the second phase of the repricing process as a response to falls in both sales volumes and demand."

Hometrack's data reveal that fewer buyers are now registering with estate agents, with the number of clients down by 6.5 per cent. Demand for housing fell by 2.9 per cent last month alone. Despite falling demand, the supply of new homes for sale continues to rise, with a 7.2 per cent increase in the number of houses put on the market over the past three months. Though that expansion has begun to slow over the past month, continued rising supply while demand falls back will mean further price falls.

Sellers have already been forced to begin to settle for lower offers, with the typical home now going for 93.2 per cent of the asking price, down from 94.3 per cent.

The South-west of England was the worst affected region last month, with price falls averaging 0.6 per cent, though both the South-east and East Anglia were down by 0.5 per cent. The North-east of England, by contrast, was down just 0.1 per cent.

Mr Donnell said, however, that despite the worsening of market conditions, he did not expect to see a full-blown house price crash. "Over the rest of the year and into early 2011, agents will start to focus on repricing the property on their books to a level where transactions volumes are maintained," he said.

"Talk of a double dip, with the implication being that the market will see double-digit house price falls, is over-done despite the weak outlook for demand. We expect a slowdown in the volume of homes coming to the market to limit the scale of absolute price falls over the next 12 months."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam