British house prices fall by average of £6,000 in November

Property underwent its biggest percentage drop recorded for the month of November in five years

Sellers are increasingly setting more realistic asking prices in a bid to tempt buyers, Rightmove has said. PA
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An average of £6,000 was wiped off the price of a home coming on to the market in November, according to a property website.

On average, new sellers' asking prices fell by 1.7 per cent (£6,088) this month across the country to reach £362,143, Rightmove said in a report.

The 1.7 per cent fall is the highest percentage drop recorded for the month of November in five years, despite property asking prices usually recording a fall at this time of year, the report said.

Rightmove said the fall indicates that new sellers are increasingly adopting more realistic price expectations from the outset of their marketing, to tempt potential buyers.

“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,” Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said.

“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 overpricing and reducing their price later.”

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The number of sales being agreed is now 10 per cent below the same period in 2019, improving from being 15 per cent below 2019’s level last month, Rightmove said.

The number of available homes for sale is 1 per cent behind this time in 2019.

These are averages across Britain, and some areas and sectors are faring better than others, the website said.

The number of sales being agreed in the smallest homes sector (studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom properties) is just 7 per cent lower than 2019’s level.

In the “top of the ladder” sector (four-bedroom detached houses and all five-bedroom-plus properties), agreed sales are 14 per cent behind 2019 levels.

Meanwhile, there are yearly price declines in the Midlands and in southern England, while the more affordable areas of Wales, Scotland and northern England have seen asking price rises, the website said.

“The market is resilient and more in favour of buyers compared to the past two years,” Ian Preston, managing director at Yorkshire estate agent Preston Baker said.

“Pricing right is the most important tool for potential sellers at the moment.

“We have seen several sellers try to test the market with an over-optimistic price to qualified buyers.

“However, the consequences of getting it wrong are pronounced, with the data showing that many sellers who don’t get the price right the first time end up wasting a huge amount of time and money.”

Updated: November 13, 2023, 12:01 AM