House prices rise slightly – and an ‘Autumn sales’ bounce is predicted

House prices rise slightly – and an ‘Autumn sales’ bounce is predicted

0:01 AM, 18th September 2023, About 2 weeks ago

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The average asking price for homes in the UK rose by just 0.4% to £366,281 in August, Rightmove reports.

It says that the price rise is smaller than the average of 0.6% recorded for the same month over the past 10 years.

However, prices have risen at this time of year in all but three of September reports since 2001.

And while the property platform reports that some sellers are being too optimistic about their pricing, others are listening to their agent’s advice to price correctly from the outset.

‘Eyes will be on market activity over the next few weeks’

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said: “It’s been a slower than usual August, so all eyes will be on market activity over the next few weeks, which will set the trend for the rest of the year.

“The combination of 14 consecutive Bank of England interest rate rises and many buyers and sellers still catching up on lost pandemic holidays has contributed to a bigger than expected summer lull, though we still anticipate an autumn bounce.”

He added: “As we enter a key selling season, more people who have been thinking about what they need from a home and where they want to be living next year and beyond are taking action and coming to market.

“This has helped to improve buyer choice, especially for those looking for larger homes, which also means that new sellers in the middle and upper sectors need to be extra careful not to set their price expectations too high.”

UK’s house prices are still falling

The data shows that on an annual basis, the UK’s house prices are still falling and are on track to meet Rightmove’s prediction of a 2% fall over the year.

The firm says that August was quieter than usual for new sellers, with the number of new properties coming up for sale are 6% lower than the 10-year average.

Buyer enquiries remained stable, down just 1% on 2019.

However, economic conditions, holiday distractions and a reduction in fresh stock contributed to the number of sales agreed falling further, going from being 15% down on 2019 in July, to being 18% down in August.

Smaller homes outperformed the larger home sectors

The first time-buyer sector has consistently outperformed the larger home sectors since February, with this trend continuing in August.

Sales agreed for two-bedrooms and fewer were down by 13% on August 2019, and encouragingly buyers’ enquiries in this sector were up by 1%.

And falling mortgage rates could help some first-time buyers with the average five-year fixed rate across all loan-to-value ratios now at 5.67%, down from 6.11% at their peak in July.

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