What? A housing crash? No, No, No, that can't happen here. We don't do house price declines here in Britain. Look closer, and there are signs that the market is slowing.
Yet, you can feel it coming. It is like a distant rumble. It is barely perceptible, but if you listen closely, you can hear it. There is a subtle change in perceptions. For some unexpected reason, this change has focused around the HIPs. It is this that going to kill the UK bubble.
Well, it had to be something. I don't mind calling it the HIP effect. If you want to believe that these information packs will screw demand, well, I won't fight you over it. However, this madness is coming to an end. And I have a name for your pain, it is called negative equity.
May 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. house prices rose this month at the slowest pace since December as Britons rushed to sell properties before new advertising rules, Rightmove Plc said. Asking prices climbed 0.4 percent to an average 237,361 pounds ($468,000), compared with a gain of 3.6 percent in April, Rightmove, the U.K.'s biggest real-estate Web site, said in a statement today. On the year, the rate of price increases slowed to 13 percent from 15 percent the previous month.
Today's report suggests that an increase in supply and higher interest rates are helping to curb a boom in house prices, which rose about 10 percent last year. Britons who put their homes on the market before June 1 can avoid rules requiring them to pay for home information packs, a set of legal documents the government says will speed up home purchases.
"Supply has certainly increased," Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said in an interview. "There are signs that prices are starting to flatten out in the rising interest-rate environment."
In London, prices rose 1.4 percent from a month earlier, down from around 3.7 percent in April. The average number of properties per real-estate agent rose to 61, the most since October, according to Rightmove. The company recorded its biggest-ever number of new listings in a single month, with 200,000 new properties becoming available for sale