Property  

House prices drop £7k in 'late summer sale'

House prices drop £7k in 'late summer sale'

The average asking price of newly-marketed property dropped 2.3 per cent this month, according to new figures.

The latest new seller figures released by Rightmove today (20 August) showed house prices dropped by an average of £7,218 in the month.

Although property prices traditionally fall at this time of year as new sellers come to the market in the peak summer holiday months, this month’s drop was slightly bigger than the 2.1 per cent fall in August 2017, the report showed.

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The subdued market in London and the commuter-belt region of the South East proved to be the biggest drag on the national average - if those regions are excluded then the rest of the country saw a monthly drop of 1.5 per cent.

Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, said sellers who come to market in the peak holiday month often have a pressing need to sell and price down accordingly, and offer 'summer sale' prices to entice holiday-distracted buyers.

He said: "The market started its most recent cyclical price upturn in 2010, and since then the average price of property coming to market has gone up by 32 per cent, stretching buyer affordability.

"More substantial discounts are therefore required to tempt warier buyers, with higher house prices also tightening the purse strings of lenders."

The real estate website warned that as available housing stock is up, with buyers having more choice this month compared with last, sellers should look to act quickly to accommodate a pre-Christmas move - with an average of 13 weeks to complete the legal transaction once a sale is agreed.

Rightmove reported the average time for a property to sell on its website is currently more than eight weeks.

But Mr Shipside said despite political uncertainty, sales agreed were holding steady.

He said it was usual for there to be an upturn in prices and buyer activity moving into the autumn season - especially if sellers maintain their cheaper pricing to attract buyers.

He added it was harder to get a sale done quickly because of competition in the market, so for a seller to increase their odds and beat the average timescales they needed to be more pro-active than other sellers.

rachel.addison@ft.com