MortgagesMar 7 2023

UK housing bleak spots revealed as prices dip £200k below sale price

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UK housing bleak spots revealed as prices dip £200k below sale price
Some areas of the UK have seen house prices drop £196,000 since purchase. (Lina Kivaka/Pexels)

Britons completing on a property purchase in some areas of the UK market will have seen the value of their property fall by as much as £195,000 before they have even been handed the keys, according to data by Moverly.

The digital upfront property pack provider examined how house prices have changed over the past four months - the average time in which it has taken from transaction to completion after accepting an offer.

In terms of the change in property values seen across the UK market over the past four months - approximately 150 days - homebuyers are out of pocket in Scotland and Northern Ireland with house prices falling by £4,756 in Scotland and £904 in Northern Ireland over that time. 

Although the rate of house price increases has started to slow down, the average UK house price has still climbed by £5,323 to £294,329 over the last four months.

Unless they plan to move in the very short term, negative equity is probably not an issue. Jane King, Ash Ridge Private Finance

But this national average obscures what is happening when you drill down into local authority data, according to Moverly. 

Its data has revealed that in 36 areas across the UK market, buyers are finding that they are already out of pocket on their purchase by the time they complete, with house prices falling since they originally agreed an offer. 

In some areas this decline is substantial, to say the least, and according to the data, nowhere more so than in Kensington and Chelsea, where a buyer completing today will have already seen the value of their home fall by an eye watering £194,806 - that’s a drop of £1,299 for every day it took for them to complete. 

Table: Areas of the UK where house prices have fallen the most between accepting an offer and completing on a sale

LocationHouse Price - Offer Accepted (Jul 22)House Price - Sale Completed (Dec 22)Total Change in House PriceChange in House Price per Day
Kensington and Chelsea£1,472,982£1,278,176-£194,806-£1,299
Hammersmith and Fulham£789,644£725,829-£63,815-£425
City of Westminster£956,176£910,287-£45,890-£306
South Lakeland£308,620£286,976-£21,644-£144
North Norfolk£329,050£319,406-£9,644-£64
City of Aberdeen£147,942£139,347-£8,595Sou

Source: Moverly

Moverly co-founder Ed Molyneux commented: “Anyone who has had the pleasure of moving home in the UK will know that regardless of how quickly you agree an offer, the time taken between this point and actually completing on a sale can drag on for what seems like forever. 

"So much so that when a sale does finally complete, the value of the home in question has often shifted by thousands of pounds. 

"All too often this delay is down to the inadequate supply of upfront property information which not only slows the offer negotiation process, but it can also considerably increase the chance of a transaction falling through.”

Even so, mortgage adviser Jane King of Ash Ridge Private Finance, says buyers should not be worried about negative equity or a complete destruction of property value.