The value of the average residential property in Britain fell by 1.7% during the first quarter of 2012 and now stands at £215,436, down £3,708 from the end of 2011, according to leading property website Zoopla.
The latest drop means that average house prices in Britain are now 2.8% of £6,440 lower than a year ago but at the same time the latest Rightmove report shows that average asking prices are rising and have reached an all time high.
Zoopla says that the fall in house prices over the quarter was felt across Britain, however Scotland performed best with average property values falling only 1.4% to £162,777 over the quarter, still up 4.1% over the past 12 months.
In England, average values have dropped 1.7% since the start of the year to £222,849 and are down 3.2% on a year ago, while average house prices in Wales fell by 1.5% over the quarter to 149,629 and remain 3.3% lower than a year ago.
Over the past 12 months, all but six cities in Britain’s have seen property prices fall. Edinburgh has performed best, up 5.2% over the last year whilst Huddersfield has performed worst with average home values down 6.4% over the same period. Even London has not been immune to the recent drops with property prices in the capital having fallen 2.1% over the past year.
‘It has not been the best start to the year in terms of house prices however market activity has begun to show some positive signs of life. For some, the drop in prices is an incentive to act, as more properties become affordable,’ said Nicholas Leeming of Zoopla.
Meanwhile the Rightmove report shows that a rise of 2.9% or £6,798 in April has helped national new seller asking prices to reach an all time high of £243,737, beating the previous record set nearly four years ago in May 2008 by 0.5% or £1,327.
London prices have seen a 14.9% (£60,403) increase since the national peak in May 2008 but new sellers’ average asking prices in the rest of the country have fallen by 4.3% over the same period.
Since the previous record high in May 2008, the four best performing regions in terms of price are in the south. Both the fresh stock starved London and South West regions set new records this month while the South East and East Anglia are currently just 0.3% and 1.1% off new record highs.
However, Rightmove points out that the new national record should be considered against retail price inflation of 11.5% since May 2008, meaning that national average asking prices are still down in real terms by 9.9% over the period.