House prices in the UK have fallen for the third month in a row after a poor summer for the property market as buyers stayed home to watch the Olympics, according to research Monday.
The average asking price for a property fell 0.6 percent between August and September to 234,858 pounds in England and Wales, "Rightmove" firm said.
The fall follows declines in July and August, when prices fell 1.7 percent and 2.4 percent month-on-month respectively.
Rightmove's latest house price index showed properties coming to market are now 11,000 pounds cheaper than they were three months ago.
Miles Shipside, housing market analyst at Rightmove, said "Summer sellers have had some very stiff competition, not only from competing sellers chopping their prices, but also from the Olympics extravaganza which has been more compelling for many than viewing property." Prices rose marginally year-on-year in September, up 0.7 percent, but are almost unchanged compared with five years ago as the housing market has ground to a halt.
Shipside said, "The state of the housing market is little different now to this time last year and prices have stagnated as neither buyers nor sellers have been forced to change their behaviours in sufficient quantities to stimulate greater activity." He added, "The global squeeze in the credit markets has seriously affected the man on the street's access to mortgage financing, permanently hampering their ability to finance their journey onto and up the housing ladder." Hefty deposits now required by lenders are putting a house purchase out of reach for many first time buyers, with the average loan-to-value now at around 25 percent.
This is preventing many from getting on the housing ladder, despite better affordability.
Figures from the Halifax bank recently revealed that it is now more affordable on a monthly basis to own a home than to rent, costing 18 percent - or 132 pounds- less on average thanks to lower mortgage rates and property price falls.
Today's data from Rightmove shows that prices fell month-on-month in most regions, except London and East Anglia, which saw a 0.3 percent rise to 456, 237 pounds and 4.3 percent increase to 229,231 pounds respectively.
The North saw the steepest fall, down 2.3 percent to 144,795 pounds, followed by the North West with a 2 percent drop to 159,729 pounds and the South West with a 1.3 percent decline to 256,456 pounds.