Property 

House prices fall for first time since 2009

House prices fall for first time since 2009

House prices fell in June for the first time since 2009 due to election uncertainty plaguing the property market, according to Rightmove.

Rightmove reported house prices were down by 0.4 per cent as buyers refused to pay top dollar in the face of political and economic uncertainty.

The plunge slowed the annual rate of price increase to 1.8 per cent, the lowest since April 2013. 

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, blamed the slump on uncertainty and falling buyer confidence after the Conservatives lost their Parliamentary majority on 8 June.

He said: 'It now seems that we will have continuing political uncertainty, which the housing market traditionally dislikes, and with the first fall in June prices for eight years there is no doubt that the lack of stability is a factor. 

'The price of property coming to the market had increased in June in every year since 2009, so buyer confidence has clearly been affected by inflation outstripping their pay packets and current political events.”

Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of eMoov.co.uk, said: "Anyone that claims the political landscape has no direct impact on the UK housing market need only to look at the latest index from Rightmove to be told otherwise.

“Yes, the portals data may not provide the most concrete view of how the sector is performing due to the figures being based on asking price rather than completions, but it certainly gives us a flavour of the current buyer-seller market seesaw.

“With the snap election in June, it is no wonder price momentum stalled as both buyer and seller alike held off until some greater stability for the nation was decided.

“Unfortunately, stability was the last thing we received at the start of the month and so not only will this period of uncertainty now be prolonged, but it is likely the market will continue to splutter where price growth is concerned.

“That said, it is probably unfair to be drawing comparisons to the market during the peak of the credit crunch as we are in a much steadier climate then compared to now. 

“Although price growth is likely to remain stagnant for the rest of the year, it is unlikely that we will see any notable dips, perhaps a marginal adjustment if any."

emma.hughes@ft.com

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