Home asking prices down by 0.6%

Home asking prices recorded their first drop of 2010 in July following a flood of new properties in the market, according to a new report.

Property website Rightmove said average asking prices in England and Wales in the four weeks to July 10 were down 0.6% to £236,332.

The group said the price gains during the first half of the year - a 7% rise since January to a peak average value of £237,767 in June - are likely to be wiped off by the end of the year as a strong buyer's market emerges.

Figures show that the number of new homes being put on sale each week reached an average of 30,000 in July - 45% more than during the same period last year.

The average number of properties estate agents have on their books also rose for the fifth month in a row to reach 77, the highest level since August 2008.

As a result, there are now five new properties on the market for every two potential buyers who have a mortgage approved.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "More aggressive pricing is now the order of the day, which means that conditions are ripe for a strong buyers' market in the second half of 2010."

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