Hometrack: house prices continue to fall

However, levels of buyer registrations, sales agreed and new instructions all increased in February, reversing a downward trend seen over recent months.

New buyer registrations rose by 17% while sales agreed increased by more than 35%. There was also a modest increase in the supply of homes for sale which grew by 6.7%. Southern England – London, the South East and the South West – saw the strongest demand.

But there appears to be no real "green shoots". Instead this seasonal spike in market activity remains some 60% lower than the same time last year. An uncertain economic outlook and the prospect of further price falls mean that many people are choosing to simply not move. Demand for housing does exist but not at the levels seen two or three years ago.

Hometrack said that what was being seen was a growing realism from sellers and this was reflected in the fact that the proportion of asking price being achieved had started to bottom out at around 88% and the time taken to sell a property had also plateaued at around 12 weeks – this compared to less than nine weeks a year ago.

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