Average asking price of UK home falls £6k in November

The average asking price for new homes on the market fell by £6,088 in November, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

This fall, worth 1.7% compared to October, has left the average seller asking price at £362,143.

Rightmove suggested that asking prices tend to drop at this time of year, as “serious sellers price more competitively”, to attract distracted buyers in the lead-up to Christmas.

However, this year’s November drop is the largest in five years, which Rightmove believes could indicate that new sellers are also increasingly adopting more realistic price expectations from the outset of marketing to tempt potential buyers to act.

“We’d expect to see a drop in new seller asking prices in the last couple of months of the year, as serious sellers start to separate themselves from discretionary sellers and cut through the Christmas noise with an attractive price to secure a buyer,” said Rightmove director of property science, Tim Bannister.

“However, the larger than usual drop this month signals that among the usual pricing seasonality, we are starting to see more new sellers heed their agents’ advice and come to market with more enticing prices to stand out from their over-optimistic competition. Buyers are still out there, but for many their affordability is much reduced due to higher mortgage rates.

“It now looks like more sellers are understanding Rightmove’s research; that the chances of securing a buyer are much greater if they price right the first time, rather than over-pricing and reducing their price later.”

Despite a turbulent end to 2022 for the housing market, Rightmove described the year to date as “better than many expected”.

Asking prices have eased from the unsustainable heights seen during the pandemic markets, where many sales went to best and final bids.

However, new seller asking prices are now just 3% behind May’s peak and the property expert stated that this relatively small fall in asking prices, coupled with stable numbers of new properties coming to the market each month, are strong indicators that forced sales are not widespread.

Bannister added: “This year has brought many new challenges for buyers, sellers and agents to navigate. While there have been many twists and turns, and there are still seven weeks left of the year, the data indicates that there has been more to be positive about in 2023 than many thought there would be at this time last year.

“The upcoming autumn statement will now set the tone heading into 2024, particularly if there are any major policy announcements. We hope that the Government has considered the impact on the market of any new policies, and that any measures introduced help as many movers as possible.”

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