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House prices and transactions both down, says contrarian commentator Paul Smith

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House prices and transactions are both down on a year ago, Spicerhaart boss Paul Smith has reported.

The contrarian property commentator’s figures go largely against the tide of other housing market analysts – but are based on his own ‘on the ground’ business’s findings.

Smith claims that house prices are deflating, not inflating, and that this is encouraging first-time buyers.

Smith says that at haart, house prices measured at exchange have reduced year on year as well as on a monthly basis.

Smith says average UK house prices were down 2.7% in the 12 months to March, and down 4.3% on February’s figure.

House sales, again measured at exchange, were down 29.7% in the 12 months to March, and down 3.9% on February.

Smith says that the average UK house price in March stood at £222,884. The average house price for a first-time buyer was £168,986, down 4.8% on February, and down 0.1% on the year.

In London, the average house price was £572,607 in March, up 3.7% on the month, and 2.4% on the year.

Based on his own firm’s figures, Smith is forecasting just 38,987 nationally exchanged house sales in March.

While other house indices continue to say that house prices are continuing to rise, albeit at a slower rate of inflation, Smith paints a different picture.

He said: “This has led to a bounce of nearly 20% more first-time buyers registering interest in England and Wales and a massive 28% in London – a jump bigger than any we have seen in the last four years.”

Smith also said that new buyer demand was down annually by 26%, although up 14.7% on a monthly basis. The number of properties coming on to the market rose by 17.1% on a monthly basis, but was down by 11.4% annually.

The number of landlords registering to buy rose 12.3% in England and Wales, and by 17.1% in London, but were down respectively 47.4% and 63.1% measured annually.

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