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Rightmove: Asking prices hit summer slump

Asking prices of new listings have dropped 1.9% this month, the largest fall in August since 2018.

Data from Rightmove shows asking prices as of mid-Augusts were £364,895, down 0.1% annually.

The portal has also reported that the number of sales being agreed is now 15% lower than the more normal 2019.


However, Rightmove said the first-time buyer sector is holding up better and down by only 10%, due in part to record rents and the scarcity of rental property.

The number of homes for sale is still 10% lower than at this time in 2019, with agents reporting that realistically-priced homes in popular areas are tempting buyers who don’t want to miss out.

Rightmove suggested the “much larger than usual price drop” for this month indicates that some sellers are seizing the initiative and heeding their agents’ advice to price competitively for their current local market conditions to attract a buyer against the backdrop of holidays, cost of living pressures and higher mortgage pricing.

Of homes that successfully find a buyer, properties that are priced right from the outset find a buyer on average in 27 days, less than half the 66 days that it takes on average to find a buyer if the home requires an asking price reduction after it has come to market, Rightmove said.

The average time to secure a buyer overall nationally was 55 days in July, up from 33 a year before.

Average stock per agent is also up from 48 to 53 properties.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said: “There are still significant challenges in saving up enough for a deposit and affording higher mortgage payments, however would-be buyers are now likely to see greater property choice in their area and therefore a home more likely to suit their needs compared to during the pandemic. 

“But while there is more choice there is no glut of properties for sale, with the number of available properties still lower than at this time in 2019 and homes still selling more quickly, with the average time to find a buyer now 55 days compared to 61 days in 2019. 

“While a 1.9% drop in just one month seems dramatic, it’s in part an expected seasonal drop as sellers coming to market realise that they have to compromise on price due to the traditionally quieter summer holiday period. Agents report that correctly priced homes in many areas are still attracting multiple prospective buyers competing to secure them, so if buyers see a home that could be for them and they can afford it, they may still need to act fast rather than sitting back.”

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    Does not chime with my current experience of my north-west patch. Transactions are grinding to a halt - particularly at the top end of the market. Prices will have to fall quite a bit further to restore more healthy market conditions, given the affordability constraints imposed by the return of mortgage rates to more normal long-term levels.

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    UK housing market is extremely resilient but likely to get a lot worse yet. Stick like glue to those who have to sell or buy and keep smiling.


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