Property prices see lowest rise since October 2008

Jessica Nangle

October 21, 2019

The price of property coming to market rose by 0.6% this month which is the lowest October rise since 2008.

The Rightmove House Price Index reports that there is also a slowdown in the number of properties coming to market declining by 13.5% year-on-year.

At 24,539 properties coming to market in October, this is the lowest total at this time of year for a decade.

The number of sales agreed remained steady with a year-on-year decrease of 0.5%.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “In a strange Brexit-induced paradox, thousands of potential sellers are holding back compared to this time a year ago, though the number of buyers agreeing purchases is virtually the same.

“Ironically, this means that those who are coming to market have a better chance of selling, so while some would-be sellers are being put off, it’s actually a good time to sell. Those who are ignoring the Brexit disruption have less competition from stay-away sellers, and their prospective buyers have less negotiating power, with a reduced choice of suitable alternatives.”

”Some sellers are speculative, encouraged to try their luck if they judge that the market has a degree of froth which might increase their chances of banking a high price.

“With upwards pricing power now pretty flat, some sellers who are motivated by maximising their money seem to be holding back.

“They may be waiting for more certainty around both achieving their price aspirations and also the Brexit outcome.

“While the number of new sellers has fallen, many of those who might normally have chanced their arm this autumn might in any case not have been seriously committed to making a move happen.

“This is a price-sensitive market, so if sellers are not willing to be realistic on their initial asking price, or to accept a lower offer, they can end up wasting time for both themselves and their agent.”

The index showed that those selling are finding their sales more likely to proceed successfully to completion.

Shipside added:“Rightmove data shows that the percentage of sales agreed that have fallen through so far this year is the lowest since 2015.

“Sellers who are coming to market are fewer but more serious, and buyers seem to be serious too, with the number of sales agreed almost unchanged.

“Both parties are then working harder to successfully guide their precious “subject to contract” sale through to successful completion.

“Many people feel that finding their ideal property is a strong foundation for finding their happy at home, so it’s worth fighting for that comforting certainty in these uncertain times.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and estate agent Benham and Reeves, noted that Brexit is having an impact on figures.

Grundherr said: “No fireworks and no explosions across the current property landscape, and while the market is more subdued than usual, this is of course going to be the case ahead of our supposed EU exit at the end of the month.

“This uncertainty has evidently caused many sellers to hesitate and sit tight however, a healthy level of sales are still transacting, and this is proof that the UK property market is yet to disappear down the Brexit abyss.

“With only the serious home buyer and seller deciding to enter the fray, we’re seeing less tyre kickers and as a result, a reduction in the number of sales falling through, which is another positive to take from the current climate.”

Shepherd Ncube, founder and chief executive of Springbok Properties, also commented: “No Autumn bounce as of yet, but given the current landscape, this will come as no surprise. That said, we could well see a late rally by UK home buyers now there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel where Brexit is concerned.

“Market conditions remain fragile but what we are seeing at present is very much a case of quality over quantity.

“While both stock levels and buyer demand remain low, those entering the fray are serious about it and so the transactions that are taking place are doing so with less chance of collapsing.

“This has no doubt been driven in part by an urgency to transact before we enter the unknown abyss of life outside of the EU.

“However, it also demonstrates that for many, homeownership continues to be a life aspiration and not an investment venture and so regardless of wider influences, we continue to buy and sell homes.”

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