Rightmove 2014: Price Rises Up To 8%

Property portal Rightmove, which has one of the most controversial of Britain’s house price indices, forecasts that UK residential values will rise by up to eight per cent in 2014.

Much of the rise will be down to an imbalance in supply and demand, it suggests. "While sales transactions are up 13 per cent so far in 2013, the number of newly listed properties is only up by two per cent" says Rightmove’s analyst and director, Miles Shipside.

Rightmove does suggest some localised hotspots - the return of that phrase so beloved by journalists, identifying some areas which will do better than others. But Rightmove hedges its bets by saying that even within hotspots such as Leeds and Manchester, some suburbs will do better than others - stating the obvious, perhaps.

"The strength of the market recovery will remain patchy with average incomes, employment and regeneration levels having a major say both north and south" says Shipside.

Predictably, for a portal reliant on estate agents paying fees, it plays down any threat of a new house price bubble thanks to government policy. "With Help to Buy encouraging more lenders to offer mortgages to those with five per cent deposits, the scheme appears to have had a successful start in creating the framework for a return to a normal, functioning higher loan-to-value mortgage market" says Shipside.

Rightmove remains controversial for three reasons:

- Many analysts think it has a price index purely for promotional reasons, as it adds little by way of analysis to the wider public or narrow property industry debates over housing;

- Rightmove concentrates on asking prices, which can often be far removed from actual sale prices, so giving a misleading snapshot of the housing market;

- In recent months, some of the estate agents with a significant financial involvement in Agents’ Mutual, an unlaunched rival of Rightmove, have used social media to launch particularly strong criticism of Rightmove.

Other agencies' and consultancies' forecasts will appear here as they are released...

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