Sellers lower prices as housing market cools down

Sellers lower prices as housing market cools down

0:04 AM, 11th December 2023, About 2 months ago

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The UK housing market saw a bigger than usual drop in new seller asking prices this month, as sellers became competitive in a more stable and less frenzied market.

According to Rightmove, the average asking price for a newly listed property fell by 1.9% (-£6,966) to £355,177.

This was larger than the 20-year average of 1.5% for the same month, which is typically quieter due to seasonal factors.

However, despite the decline, Rightmove says the market was more resilient than many expected this year, as it continued its transition from the boom of 2022 to more normal conditions.

The platform is also predicting that asking prices will drop by an average of 1% next year with stretched affordability for buyers being a big factor.

‘Price falls beyond the usual seasonal trends’

Rightmove’s director of property science, Tim Bannister, said: “Further price falls beyond the usual seasonal trends that we’d expect at this time of year signal that some new sellers are continuing to act on the advice of agents to price competitively.

“We entered this year under a cloud of uncertainty, as the fallout from the Autumn mini-Budget filtered through to lower activity levels.

“High mortgage rates which have added to already-stretched buyer affordability have been a challenge throughout 2023 and this is likely to carry into next year.”

He added: “However for now, there appears to be more calm and certainty heading into 2024, and the annual fall of 1.1% in asking prices highlights the market’s much-better-than-predicted resilience this year.”

Asking prices ended the year just 1.1% down

New seller asking prices ended the year just 1.1% below a year ago, while sales agreed for the year to date were only 13% lower than the same period in 2022, which was marked by a surge of activity after the mini-Budget.

Regional variations were also evident, with seven out of 11 regions seeing higher prices than a year ago.

The North West led the way, up by 1.5%, while the South East was the worst performer, down by 3.7%.

Rightmove also reported signs of a recovery in the mid-market, second-stepper sector, which saw the most buyer demand compared to last year’s post-mini-Budget period, up by 9%.

Overall, buyer demand was up by 6%, as some movers resumed their plans after waiting for calmer conditions.

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