UK house prices suffer greatest decline in four years

The median UK property asking price has fallen £7,528 to £232,144 in November, the largest monthly drop since December 2007, according to the latest report by property website Rightmove.

The 3.1% fall is the third largest monthly percentage fall recorded.

The report says that “economic uncertainty spooks sellers” and the statistics “highlight how the relentless stream of economic uncertainty around the Eurozone crisis has eroded consumer confidence to the extent that it now dominates decisions when it comes to moving home”.

This decrease comes despite UK property listings falling 13% in November to the lowest November level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which led to prospective sellers postponing their marketing.

The November levels are up 1.2% from £229,379 in 2010, while the highest median for 2011 was £240,394 in June.

“Markets dislike uncertainty, and so do people who are deciding whether or not to enter the property market,” says director of Rightmove Miles Shipside.

“Agents report that many would-be sellers are postponing their marketing until the new year, influenced by the current wall-to-wall media coverage of the Greeks and Italians attempting to get their own far-flung houses in order.

“It’s no great surprise that those who have braved the stormy conditions have had to accept a substantial ‘haircut’ on their asking prices.”

All the regions included in the report show a monthly drop with the worst performance by Richmond-upon-Thames, which suffered a monthly fall of 5.2%.

However, prime central London residential values are 15.6% over their previous peak level.

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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