How Long Will 'Mr Average' Have to Rent? Rightmove House Price Index February 2011

By Rightmove Group Ltd, PRNE
Sunday, February 20, 2011

LONDON, February 21, 2011 - Rightmove today reports that new sellers coming to market this month
mimicked those of February last year, raising their asking prices by 3.1% in
the month to an average of GBP230,030, leaving year-on-year prices virtually
the same too (+0.3%). With lenders stating that they expect mortgage lending
to remain static at around 2010 levels throughout 2011, and new seller
numbers practically unchanged year-on-year what might have been seen as a
passing phase of low transaction levels in the housing market now looks set
to be the norm for the foreseeable future.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, comments: "Any hopes
that transaction volumes may be on the springboard preparing to return to
historic norms will have been dashed by lenders' predictions that 2011
lending volumes will match 2010's dire levels. The current subdued market
volumes are set to be the new norm unless the seemingly never ending
discussions between Government and mortgage lenders find some way of
increasing 'Mr Average's' access to lower deposit mortgages without pricing
them out of the market."

The number of new properties for sale ( coming to market remains
subdued as a substantial element of the mass market is 'locked in' to their
existing homes. Average unsold stock levels per agency branch have now
declined for five consecutive months, falling from a peak of 78 properties to
the current level of 69. The main exception to muted new seller numbers is
London, which is up 21% on the same period last year. This is further
evidence that the more elite and southern based markets have some immunity
from the effects of stunted equity growth and problems accessing mortgage
finance. The remainder of the country has seen new listing numbers remain
more stable, being marginally up by just 6% year-on-year on the same period
last year.

Shipside adds: "If consumer price inflation continues to
marginally outstrip house price inflation, then in a slow process over
several years buyer affordability will improve. Mortgage debt will be eroded
and any average wage rises will further assist. The mass market is unlikely
to recover to former volumes without the return of healthier access to
credit, so continuing falls in the percentage of owner-occupiers and a
consequent growth of the rented sector is the realistic prospect."

For further statistics and to download the Rightmove February2011House
Price Index please visit - search for local house
prices ( at

Rightmove Press Office,, +44(0)207-087-0700

Rightmove Press Office, press at, +44(0)207-087-0700

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