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Home movers urged to research ‘fragmented’ market

Home movers urged to research ‘fragmented’ market

Category: Economy

Updated: 19/12/2011
First Published: 19/12/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Anyone hoping to buy a house next year has been warned to carefully research the make-up of their target market following the emergence of a series of 'highly complex micro-markets'.

Rightmove has told homebuyers that they might face a lack of property choice and high prices, or alternatively they could find a glut of homes for sale at what seem to be a bargain price, all within the space of a few miles.

For instance, the property website's data reveals that in the West Midlands, Burton-on-Trent has seen over 10% more new sellers compared to 2010, contributing to their prices being down by 12%.

Yet some 13 miles away in Tamworth, prices are down by just 0.8%, with there having been 2% less new sellers than in 2010.

Meanwhile in Yorkshire prices in Rotherham are up 2.8% under-pinned by 12% fewer properties coming to market, whereas in Barnsley prices are down by 5.0% thanks to new seller numbers being up by 2%.

"It is clear that in these turbulent times the UK housing market is made up of many fragmented micro-markets that are performing very differently," said Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove.

"Those that are involved in buying or selling next year need to understand their local market dynamics to help them deliver the right recipe for success.

"That will include gauging under- or over-supply of property types, buyer demographics and mortgage profiling, unemployment concerns and exposure to public sector cuts or the likelihood of external investment".

According to the latest figures from the website, property asking prices in the UK as a whole ended 2011 slightly higher than at the start of the year.

Despite falling by 2.7% in December, average asking prices have still increased by 1.5% over the past 12 months.

Looking ahead to next year, it is anticipated that asking prices will rise by around 2%, thanks largely to an expected drop in the number of properties that will come to market.

"The shortage of new sellers in some locations, and improving investor yields on rental properties, will help underpin prices and stave off a price collapse except in exceptionally adverse market conditions," added Mr Shipside.

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