Call us today on 0141 552 9193
GLP News

News, Comment & Opinions on the latest legal stories

Glasgow Law Practice White

Practice made perfect

Modest drop in house prices

House prices are still falling around the country, but more slowly than in the past, according to new figures. The latest Halifax House Price Index reveals that in the three months to November, house prices were only 0.7% lower than in the previous three months.

This was the sixth consecutive fall but was an improvement on the 1.0% decrease in October, says the Halifax.

Little change

Looking at the statistics in detail, the Halifax reveals that prices in the three months to November were 1.3% lower than in the same period a year earlier and that house prices in November 2012 were virtually unchanged compared with November 2011. This stood at an average of £160,879.

“There has been very little change in house prices overall during the past year with the average UK price in November almost identical to that in November 2011,” said the Halifax’s housing economist, Martin Ellis. “Both demand and supply pressures in the market have altered little during the course of 2012, and this has been the key reason for the lack of anything other than modest changes in house sales and prices at a national level compared with a year ago.”

More positively, says the Halifax, house prices actually increased by 1.0% in November.

Market stabilising

The findings were echoed by the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) housing market survey, which found that modest drops were visible in relation to house prices, albeit at a slower pace than was seen earlier in the year.

A net balance of 16% more Scottish chartered surveyors reported falling prices during November. While slightly up in October’s reading, this still suggests that the market is now beginning to stabilise, says RICS.

Slight optimism

In fact, the surveyor’s organisation found that enquiries from would-be buyers saw a rise in most parts of Scotland last month (net balance +22%). The number of homes coming up for sale also increased during November (net balance +32%).

Although demand is still at a historically low level, RICS believes that those who are in a position to do so are gradually looking to test the market.

“There is certainly some optimism creeping back into the housing market in Scotland, and it is encouraging to see an increase in potential buyers across parts of the country where the market has particularly suffered in recent years,” said Sarah Speirs, director RICS Scotland.

Long way to go

“That said, there is still a long way to go and the long standing barriers to home ownership are still very much a problem for the likes of first time buyers,” she warned. “Additionally, the macro-economic picture continues to weigh heavy on the market and continues to prevent any really significant boost in activity.”