Property prices continue falling as buyers watch and wait

Property prices continue falling as buyers watch and wait

11:28 AM, 12th December 2022, About 2 years ago

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A bigger seasonal dip than usual has seen property prices continue their slide with sellers dropping the price on a new listing by 2.1%, Rightmove reports.

That price fall equates to an average of £7,862 and is a bigger drop than is usually seen at this time of year.

Rightmove says that is down to sellers pricing more aggressively in a bid to find a buyer.

The average house price in the UK is now £359,137 but 2022 ends with asking prices 5.6% higher than this time last year – and that’s when annual growth was 6.3%.

Property prices will fall by an average of 2% in 2023

Rightmove is now predicting that property prices will fall by an average of 2% in 2023 as a ‘multi-speed hyper-local market emerges’.

The firm says that some sectors, locations and property types look set to do better than others.

The property platform also highlights that home viewing numbers are up 11% compared with last year, and that many buyers are watching the market closely before making a move.

The data also shows that buyer demand is 4% up over the same period in 2019 and Rightmove is predicting that the property market next year will settle into ‘normal, pre-pandemic level of activity’.

Buyers have paused their plans to buy

It looks like buyers have paused their plans to buy because of economic headwinds, including rising mortgage rates.

But, over the past two weeks, the number of potential buyers contacting estate agents is up 4% on the same period in 2019.

Plus, there are signs that some discretionary buyers who are still able to move are now weighing up their options between now and the New Year.

‘Motivated sellers try to capture the attention of a buyer’

Tim Bannister, the platform’s director of property science, said: “Though we would always expect prices to drop in December, as motivated sellers try to capture the attention of a buyer before Christmas with a competitive price, this monthly dip is the largest we’ve seen for four years.

“It’s an understandable short-term reaction to the economic turmoil and unexpectedly rapid mortgage rate rises and reduction in the availability of mortgage products that we saw in late September and October, before things began to settle down.

“Despite this, we end the year with average asking price growth of 5.6%, which is only slightly lower than the 6.3% last year.”

He added: “It’s understandable that some buyers are distracted, not only by the festive season but also by the thought that they may get a better fixed-rate mortgage deal and a more stable outlook by waiting until the New Year.”

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