What next?

Property asking prices have fallen for the first time this year, leaving many Britons anxious about the 'muted demand' in the market, and wondering whether this just a blimp or a sign of things to come.

A report by Rightmove showed that seven in ten properties put on the market this year were yet to find a buyer. Making the average amount of homes registered with estate agents 78.

Andrew Goodwin, of Oxford Economists, said the housing market was 'very much a two-speed market', adding: 'The London market is doing very well as it is driven by strong foreign investment, but everywhere else is going sideways.'

But what now? It seems the future is uncertain even for those with London property. Vicky Redwood, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, says: 'Selling is definitely an option in places like London where prices are almost back to their peak. However, we still believe house prices are likely to fall over the next two to three years, estimating a 5 percent drop in the second half of 2011 and 7 percent by the end of 2012.'

Most housing experts and economists believe that prices will either stay where they are or fall further. 'House prices may fall by a further 5-8 perent by mid 2012, so perhaps delay buying for now,' suggests Howard Archer, chief economist for IHS Global Insight. 'On the other hand, selling may be a more suitable option.'

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