A pessimistic set of figures on asking prices, transaction volumes and stock levels culminates in Rightmove urging vendors to be willing to negotiate on price this autumn if they want to clinch a deal.
In its monthly market snapshot, released this morning, Rightmove says the average price of property coming to market has dropped by 0.2 per cent this month.
Although a small dip, the portal says it comes in September when there is usually the first sign of an autumn bounce in housing market activity. The asking price fall is the first recorded at this time of year since 2010.
However there is a clear North South divide. London has properties now coming to the market at an average 2.1 per cent cheaper than a year ago; the south east region is down 1.1 per cent.
All other regions have new seller asking prices up compared to a year ago, with the North West being the most buoyant, up 3.5 per cent.
Rightmove says that while the underlying housing market fundamentals remain sound, uncertainty is causing some buyers and sellers to hesitate “and this heightens as we get closer to a Brexit deadline.”
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, says: “Many have got used to living in the jaws of uncertainty since the referendum over three years ago, and have been getting on with their lives and housing moves. However, as we approach yet another Brexit deadline, there are signs that the increasing gnashing of teeth is causing some to hesitate.”
The number of sales agreed is down 5.5 per cent nationally but can be seen in all regions compared to the same period a year ago, indicating that this is widespread hesitation rather than being restricted to some geographic areas.
The sales drop is a marked contrast and large turnaround to the 6.1 per cent increase in sales agreed reported by Rightmove a month ago, while year-to-date figure shows that the average sales agreed numbers are down 3.4 per cent on this time in 2018.
“Buying activity is still at nearly 95 per cent of what it was a year ago, but sellers in all regions are seeing fewer sales go through, so should be more willing to negotiate with prospective buyers if they want or need to get a deal done.”
The number of newly-marketed properties is down by 7.8 per cent this month compared to the same period a year ago, again with all regions showing drops. The biggest collapse by far is in London where there’s a drop of more than 20 per cent in new properties coming to market as some owners await a Brexit outcome and market recovery.