Prices of UK properties hitting the market have fallen by £5,200 this month, according to property group Rightmove. It says the figure represents a 1.7% decline and the largest fall since November 2012. It said the fall was the result of sellers pricing more “realistically” ahead of the Christmas slowdown.
‘New sellers and their agents are reacting to market forces and lowering their pricing aspirations by more and sooner than usual,’ Rightmove Director Miles Shipside said.
Housing prices fell across the UK, but the biggest decline was in the south of England. The average asking price fell from £307,000 to £302,000, with premium homes declining by an average of 2.4%, down to £532,000 from £545,000.
The survey comes as Nationwide warned this week that housing stock is at “pretty much an all-time low”. The building society’s chief executive Joe Garner said Brexit was partly to blame for holding back investment in housebuilding and dampening activity.
UK manufacturing slumped in October but has rebounded this month, according to the latest Industrial Trends Survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). It said that a net 10% of firms reported order books had improved in November, compared to a reading of -6% in October, the biggest fall in two years. Analysts had expected a similarly poor reading in November. The CBI’s chief economist, Rain Newton-Smith, said the data was “encouraging”. But she warned: “The future prosperity of manufacturers depends on getting the Brexit deal right. We need frictionless trade for our world-beating manufactured goods and a transition period which draws us back from the cliff edge. Anything less than that and jobs and investment could suffer.”
Theresa May this week revealed a blue-print for UK relations with the EU after Brexit, but many key questions remain unanswered, and will need to be thrashed out in the transition period, a fact that has led many MPs on both sides of the argument to call it a “blind Brexit” deal. Reports suggest as many as 87 Tory MPs are publicly against the deal, meaning half of Conservative backbenchers could vote against it. In any case, May is travelling to Brussels this weekend to try and seal the deal with EU leaders at a summit on Sunday.
US consumer sentiment deteriorated more than expected this month, according to a survey by the University of Michigan.
The consumer sentiment index fell to 97.5 from 98.6 in October and 98.5 in November last year. Meanwhile, the index of economic conditions declined to 112.3 in November from 113.1 the month before and 113.5 against the same period last year. The index of consumer expectations slipped to 88.1 this month from 89.3 the month before.
Some experts blamed expectations of impending interest-rate rises on the increasing low mood. Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan said that consumers' interest rate expectations have always echoed economic cycles. "As expansions lengthen, the number of consumers who expect interest rate rises gradually increases… while there is no reason to anticipate a sudden change in interest rate expectations in the next few months, it is still an important task for the Fed to avoid hitting the threshold that causes widespread postponement of purchases."
Main source of information: Company Report and Accounts, Bloomberg
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