Rightmove says the housing market is now into a ‘summer sale’ as newly-marketed property shows an average asking price fall of 2.3 per cent - that’s over £7,200 on a typical home.
It cites Connells as leading the way, with 5,000 of its properties ‘relaunched’ over the summer with what the agency describes as ‘meaningful price reductions’ - leading to 30 per cent of them being sold in recent weeks, despite the seasonal slowdown.
Rightmove’s reported 2.3 per cent asking price drop is slightly bigger than the 2.1 per cent fall this time last year, with the major drag on the national average being the more subdued market in London and the commuter-belt region of the South East.
If those two regions are excluded then the rest of the country has a monthly drop of 1.5 per cent.
“Sellers who come to market in the peak holiday month often have a pressing need to sell and price down accordingly, and are offering ‘summer sale’ prices to entice holiday-distracted buyers” claims Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s market analyst.
“The market started its most recent cyclical price upturn in 2010, and since then the average price of property coming to market has gone up by 32 per cent, stretching buyer affordability. More substantial discounts are therefore required to tempt warier buyers, with higher house prices also tightening the purse strings of lenders” he adds.
“With lacklustre average wage growth, more buyers are bumping up against the tighter lending criteria brought in four years ago following the Mortgage Market Review, which were intended to prevent another boom-and-bust cycle .”
Sales agreed numbers are broadly flat, down by 0.8 per cent compared to this time last year, and as 2018 progresses they are improving compared to their position earlier in the year.
Shipside notes: “The ‘beast from the east’ weather was a factor in sales agreed numbers being down by 5.4 per cent year-to-date when we reported back in May, but they are on an upward trajectory and are now 3.5 per cent down year-to-date.
“Overall in spite of political uncertainty sales agreed are holding pretty steady and it is usual for there to be an upturn in prices and buyer activity as we head into the Autumn season, especially if sellers maintain their cheaper pricing to attract buyers.”
Total stock is up 2.1 per cent and the average time to sell between first marketing on Rightmove and being marked as sale agreed has increased by 3.0 per cent to just over eight weeks.
Shipside adds: ”The key measures affecting the chances of a successful sale all indicate a higher degree of difficulty, so for a seller to increase their odds and beat the average timescales they need to be more pro-active than other sellers. New sellers who are motivated by the 18-week Christmas deadline therefore need to agree a sale to a buyer much more quickly than the average eight weeks that it takes, and perhaps also compress the average 13 weeks between agreeing a sale to a buyer and moving in. That’s a nail-biting total of 21 weeks that they need to try and cut down.”