The latest Rightmove asking price index indicates a smaller than usual autumn bounce - that’s a sign, the portal says, of thousands of would-be sellers waiting to see the outcome of Brexit.
Asking prices have seen their lowest monthly rise at this time of year since October 2008, up by 0.6 per cent, or the equivalent of £1,942.
The weekly run-rate for property coming to market in October - that is, the average number of new listings per week - is 24,539, the lowest total at this time of year since October 2009.
With that slowing in the number of properties coming to market, down by 13.5 per cent compared with this time last year, Rightmove says there are strong indications that many would-be sellers are being deterred by the combination of muted pricing power and short-term political uncertainty.
In contrast, buyers seem undeterred, with the year-on-year number of sales agreed being little changed, down by just 0.5 per cent.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: “In a strange Brexit-induced paradox, thousands of potential sellers are holding back compared to this time a year ago, though the number of buyers agreeing purchases is virtually the same. Ironically, this means that those who are coming to market have a better chance of selling, so while some would-be sellers are being put off, it’s actually a good time to sell. Those who are ignoring the Brexit disruption have less competition from stay-away sellers, and their prospective buyers have less negotiating power, with a reduced choice of suitable alternatives.”
One positive indicator produced by the portal is that the number of sales agreed is virtually unchanged on the same period a year ago at just 0.5 per cent down. Furthermore, those who are selling are finding that their sales are more likely to proceed successfully to completion.
Shipside adds: “Rightmove data shows that the percentage of sales agreed that have fallen through so far this year is the lowest since 2015. Sellers who are coming to market are fewer but more serious, and buyers seem to be serious too, with the number of sales agreed almost unchanged. Both parties are then working harder to successfully guide their precious “subject to contract” sale through to successful completion. Many people feel that finding their ideal property is a strong foundation for finding their happy at home, so it’s worth fighting for that comforting certainty in these uncertain times.”