Rightmove Raises U.K. House Price Forecast After Summer Lull

Rightmove Plc increased its 2013 U.K. house-price growth forecast amid signs that sellers are again seeking to push values higher after a summer slowdown that saw asking prices fall for a second month in September.

Prices sought fell 1.5 percent nationally and in London from August, the property-website operator said in a report today. Rightmove said home prices will increase 6 percent this year instead of the 4 percent it previously estimated.

“While prices fell during the month overall, the last couple of weeks have seen the start of a turnaround, with more sellers choosing to come to market and pitching at higher prices as momentum rebuilds,” said Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove. “This month’s failure to deliver fresh supply and the resulting fall in property on agents’ books will ‘prime the pump’ for an autumn price surge as buyer confidence and activity continue to increase.”

Nationally, values were up 4.5 percent this month from a year earlier, while prices in London were 8.2 percent higher, Rightmove said. In London, asking prices fell by 7.4 percent on the month in the City of Westminster. They declined by 5 percent in Camden and by 3.3 percent in Kensington and Chelsea. The average asking price in the U.K. is 245,495 pounds ($389,300).

Measures by the government and the Bank of England to improve credit availability have boosted demand. The Treasury’s Help-to-Buy program is already providing interest-free loans for new-build homes and a second stage in 2014 will give banks government guarantees on loans to buyers of both new and existing homes.

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