Average UK asking prices down £7K between November and December

Average UK asking prices down £7K between November and December
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

The 1.9 per cent dip in new seller asking prices was bigger than the usual December drop.

According to Rightmove, average new seller asking prices fell by £6,966 this month to £355,177.

The property portal acknowledged that prices usually fall in December ‘due to seasonal factors’, but said this month’s drop is bigger than the previous 20-year average of 1.5 per cent, as sellers ‘get more competitive’.

Tim Bannister Rightmove’s director of property science, said: “Further price falls beyond the usual seasonal trends that we’d expect at this time of year signal that some new sellers are continuing to act on the advice of agents to price competitively.”

Year of resilience

The property market this year was ‘more resilient than many predicted’ in 2023, said Rightmove.

It noted that asking prices end the year just 1.1 per cent down on 2022.

The number of sales agreed dropped more significantly, by 13 per cent, over the last year.

Despite the slower market, there’s marked regional disparity. Seven out of 11 regions have higher prices than a year ago, with the North West seeing the greatest rise, at 1.5 per cent.

The South East is the worst performing region, with prices now 3.7 per cent below the same point in 2022.

Rightmove predicts that new seller asking prices will drop by one per cent in 2024, as sellers need to price lower than the competition to bag a sale and buyer affordability remains stretched.

Rates falling

Average mortgage rates have now fallen for 19 consecutive weeks, said Rightmove, with the average five-year fix now 5.11 per cent compared to 6.11 per cent in July.

Bannister added: “High mortgage rates which have added to already-stretched buyer affordability have been a challenge throughout 2023, and this is likely to carry into next year.

“However for now, there appears to be more calm and certainty heading into 2024, and the annual fall of 1.1% in asking prices highlights the market’s much-better-than-predicted resilience this year.”