Demand for houses jumps as sellers get real on prices

There is some much-needed good news for the property market today as estate agents report a rise in demand for housing. According to the latest survey of estate agents by Hometrack, demand climbed 10.6 per cent in June.

However, tempering any euphoria is the fact that average property prices today are 3.9 per cent lower than at the same time last year, according to the research.

The property analytics business says the improvement in sales volumes is mainly because of a bounce back in activity following a subdued May. But Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said it was also a reflection of lower prices and greater realism by sellers.

"While average prices have slipped back by 1 per cent over the month, sales volumes have increased off the back of higher demand and greater realism over achievable prices on behalf of sellers," he said.

There remains a huge divide between London and the rest of the country, effectively creating two separate property markets.

The time taken to sell a home ranges from a low of six weeks in London, where the market is still comparatively busy, to 14 weeks in Wales.

Overall the average time on the market is holding steady at 9.7 weeks compared with 10.2 weeks at the start of the year. Meanwhile the proportion of the asking price being achieved is 92.8 per cent compared with 91.9 per cent six months ago.

While demand is slightly stronger, prices are set to continue their downward spiral. "The number of homes for sale on agents' books grew by 3.5 per cent in June following a 3 per cent increase in May," Mr Donnell said.

"While the balance between supply and demand is not significantly out of kilter, subdued demand and weak consumer confidence are set to keep headline prices under modest downward pressure over the months ahead."

Looking across the first half of 2011, the housing market was holding up better than many had expected, albeit at low transaction levels, Mr Donnell said.

But there is not enough reason for optimism in the figures to make him be more positive about the year as a whole.

"The second half of the year is set to see subdued demand keeping a further downward pressure on prices," he said. "Overall we still expect headline house prices to be down by 2 per cent over 2011."

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Housekeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is the holding company of an expa...

Recruitment Genius: Network Engineer

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Setup, configure, troubleshoot,...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future