House prices fall for first time in 2014

Fewer buyers in the market in July has seen a fall in asking prices six times in the past ten years

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The Independent Online

Would-be house sellers have dropped asking prices this month for the first time in 2014, according to property website Rightmove, amid stricter mortgage rules and increasing fears of an early interest rate rise.

The average asking price on Rightmove has fallen by 0.8 per cent in July to £270,159 – the first monthly fall recorded by the website since December 2013.

City analysts are pricing in an earlier-than-expected  first rate rise in five years from the record low 0.5 per cent in November, while mortgage rules have been tightened in a bid to prevent a dangerous house price bubble.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said confidence among buyers may “have taken a knock with suggestions that mortgages are becoming harder to get and repayments may get more costly sooner than originally anticipated.”

However, Rightmove said the significance of the fall “should not be overstated” and highlighted the fact that July has seen a fall in asking prices six times out of the last ten years.

The website also said it now expects asking prices to rise by 8 per cent in 2014 with July’s asking price figure 6.5 per cent higher than a year ago.