U.K. Home Prices Drop; Market Activity Picks Up, According to Property Site

Milton Keynes–U.K. home prices fell for the third consecutive month as homeowners rushed to put their residences on the market before the new regulation requiring pricing packets to be included with all for-sale homes kicked in, according to property Web site Rightmove.In addition, Rightmove said that home prices are increasing at their slowest rate in two years, the Times Online reported Monday.Since December 2007, a Home Information Pack, which contains information such as a sale statement and proof of title, must be made for every U.K. home put on the market. Real estate agents are required to provide buyers with a packet. The U.K. is rolling out the program for different property types throughout 2008. The average home in England and Wales lost nearly £2,000 in value during the five weeks ending January 12; prices fell by 0.8 percent to £230,428, according to the Times Online. Annual house price inflation also descended to 3.4 percent–its lowest level since December 2005.However, Rightmove saw signs of a market rebound in January due to the number of homes put up for sale before the December 14 one- and two-bedroom home packet introduction deadline. The influx of properties for sale reduced average home cost and, along with declining interest rates, increased market activity.Rightmove.co.uk, headquartered in Milton Keynes, publishes a House Price Index, based on its monthly records of current asking prices for approximately 75 percent of residential properties on the market in England and Wales, each month.