British wage inflation tops house price inflation

Wage inflation in Britain is outstripping house price inflation for the first time this decade, according to a new report from property listing website, Rightmove.

Rightmove, which surveys 60 percent of the UK's estate agents, shows that house price inflation has fallen from 4,9 percent in April to under three percent in May.

It is the first time this decade that house price rises have dipped below annual wage inflation, currently running at 4,6 percent including bonuses. If this trend continues, properties will become more affordable.

However, Rightmove's house price index gives further evidence of a sharp slowdown in activity in the housing market. It shows that houses are staying on the market for longer, with the number of properties on the market per estate agent at their highest level since 2001.

The lack of activity is putting increasing pressure on estate agents. On average, since November 26 firms per month have been forced to shut up shop because of a lack of business.

A total of 181 estate agents had closed down over the past seven months compared with just 82 in the proceeding nine months.

The figures come just days after the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors said that almost half of its members had reported that house prices were falling in May, the highest total since the recession of 1992. RICS said the number of completed sales had fallen by 29 percent since last May.
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