Sellers drop asking prices by 1.7pc

Sarah Davidson

July 16, 2012

Figures from Rightmove show while the onset of the quieter summer selling season often sees a softening of new sellers’ prices, this is the largest drop recorded in July since 2008.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “Those keen to sell this summer have the challenging confluence of miserable viewing weather, the continuing credit-crunch plus a sporting distraction of Olympic proportions.

“Those who have been on the market for many months might consider the prospects of achieving a sale to be somewhat of an Olympian challenge given that actual sales completions are just half what they were five years ago.”

The monthly average run-rate of properties coming to market is just under double the level of completed sales.

Land Registry data for the past 12 complete months shows average sales completions running at 56,220 per month.

Rightmove, which covers over 90% of the market, records a monthly average of new property listings over the same period of 102,121.

Although there will be a degree of correction in this imbalance as unsuccessful sellers change their minds and withdraw from the market, average unsold stock levels remain stubbornly high at 75 per estate agency branch.

Stock levels have risen for five consecutive months as new seller numbers outstrip the number of properties sold or taken off the market.

In the comparable 12 month period prior to the onset of the credit-crunch, average monthly new property supply (137,082) outstripped successful seller numbers (108,539) by just 25%, although it was a markedly more buoyant market at that time.

Shipside added: “Even though the supply of new properties coming to market remains constrained compared to pre-credit-crunch levels, in all but the most stock-starved micro-markets seller levels substantially outnumber those of proceedable buyers.

“Attracting the attention of those buyers is the first step on the road to a successful sale. The fact that we have not seen major price falls in the UK and that many areas are not awash with agents’ for sale boards may lead some sellers to be over-optimistic with their pricing, but it is vital that they are dispassionate and face up to what they have to do to get their property fit to sell.

“New seller numbers may be down some 30% on the period prior to credit-crunch, but the numbers achieving a successful sale are down by half and average unsold stock levels are creeping up. Sellers need to adjust, as this new world is the new norm.”

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