Rightmove: UK property prices fall 1.7%, largest drop in six years

Housing prices have fallen sharply with new sellers pricing ‘more realistically’ to offset pre-Christmas ‘buyer humbug’ syndrome fuelled by Brexit, according to Rightmove’s House Price Index data.

Housing
Source: Bloomberg

UK property pricing coming to market have fallen by £5222 this month, representing a 1.7% decline and the largest drop since November 2012, according to the latest Rightmove house price index data.

With Christmas fast approaching leaving many more strapped for cash and on-going uncertainty surrounding Brexit, new sellers are pricing ‘more realistically’ to offset pre-Xmas ‘buyer humbug’ syndrome, the online estate agent and property website said.

‘New sellers and their agents are reacting to market forces and lowering their pricing aspirations by more and sooner than usual,’ Rightmove Director Miles Shipside said. ‘Stretched buyer affordability and the cooling markets in the south and in upper price brackets have combined with the ongoing political uncertainty to change pricing optimism into pricing realism.

‘This is a welcome effort by sellers to minimise the usual pre-Christmas market slowdown. Some new-to-the-market sellers and their agents have acted early to try to improve the buying mood and avoid the traditional “buyer humbug” dislike of Christmas housing activity,’ he added.

Christmas comes early for home buyers

The larger than average decrease in house prices is sharper with the UK economy showing signs of cooling down with retail sales falling this quarter.

Housing prices fell across all regions of the UK, but the most significant decline was seen in the south of England.

The average asking price fell from £307,245 to 302,023, with homes at the top of the housing ladder seeing an average decline of 2.4%, down to 531,775 from 545,020, according to the Rightmove’s house price index.

‘While many thought that the down-to-the-wire Brexit deal uncertainty would hold people back from buying, more buyers have actually jumped in,’ Shipside said.

‘Some buyers see this pre-Christmas price lull as a gift to their negotiations. It proves that people need to get on with their lives and will continue to buy homes if the underlying economic fundamentals remain strong,’ he added.

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