Sellers Slash Prices As Agents Get Pickier !!

Date Published 20 August 2012

Asking prices of houses fell 2.4% over the last month – the largest ever fall in August that Rightmove has yet seen.

Asking prices fell in all regions, including London where a 1.2% dip took prices down from £460,304 in July to £454,875.

The site attributed the fall to reticence by agents to put property on the market at higher prices, especially when existing stock for sale is failing to attract serious buyer interest.

However, asking prices are still 2% higher than a year ago.

The Olympics had a huge effect, with search activity on the site plunging 50% during the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies and during ‘Super Saturday’.

Despite flagging buyer interest, more new properties – 127,992 – came on to the market than this time last year.

While asking prices do often fall in August, the average drop over the last ten years has been 1.1%. The current drop represents a fall of £5,837.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: `Estate agents are always aiming to win new seller instructions, but if what’s already on the market isn’t shifting, then the best advice they can give to potential new sellers is to undercut those properties already failing to sell.

`With a few more summer sellers around, it seems agents are being a bit blunter on valuations.`

Average time on the market is 92 days, according to Rightmove.

Despite the fall in asking prices, there is still an enormous gulf between what sellers want to achieve – on average, £242,097 – and what they are likely to have to accept. Halifax and Nationwide are reporting average sales prices of £161,094 and £164,389 respectively for July.

An operational note from the Land Registry, in advance of releasing full data, says that the average house price in England and Wales during July was £162,900.