House prices fell by 1 per cent last year and are unlikely to do any better this year, according to Nationwide building society.
Bien Media client, independent buying agent Gabby Adler, commented: ‘With a 1 per cent fall in prices last year and a similar outlook predicted for 2013, prices remain fairly flat and bump along the bottom. Transactions on the whole are well down, owing to a lack of confidence among would-be buyers and indeed sellers. Wider economic woes and the continuing problems in Europe all play a part.
‘However, this national average masks significant regional differences. London and the south east continues to buck the trend in many ways. In parts of the capital there is heightened competition, with a rise in the use of sealed bids for good properties. In other parts of the country, prices continue to fall.
‘Vendors have started to price more realistically on the whole and we have seen quite significant price reductions in recent months. Properties are either selling fast for a premium or sticking around.’
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, and another Bien Media client, added: ‘Increased loan availability and better rates as a result of Funding for Lending will mean a slightly more positive picture for the housing and mortgage markets this year. However, criteria will still remain tight even while mortgage rates fall a little so borrowers will need to seek advice if they want to take the plunge, particularly if their circumstances are even slightly complicated or unusual.’