Research by property website giant Rightmove has shown that sellers have been forced to knock an average of £7,500 off the asking price of their properties. Property prices have had their most torrid time since December 2007 in the four weeks up to November 6th – a fall of 3.2%. That was the fourth month out of five that the website’s contributors have reported a fall, indicating that another property slump is well under way.
The average home is now taking 102 days to sell and Rightmove are warning sellers that they will have serious competition to sell their houses as there is currently a lot of property on estate agents’ books. That figure is the longest average selling period ever recorded by the group since its index began in 2001. The continuing stagnation in the mortgage market was the main factor blamed for the current situation.
There are also signs that indicate that sellers are deciding to stay put to ride out the uncertain economic times with the number of properties being put up for sale falling by 9.1% during the reporting period. Despite this drop of around 24,000 sellers per week, the group stated that properties for sale still outnumber the number of mortgages being approved by two to one.
Commenting on the data, the director of Rightmove, Miles Shipside said: “Agents report that the Christmas slowdown has come early this year, as both would-be buyers and sellers are adopting a ‘wait and see’ policy until the direction of next year’s housing market becomes apparent. The combination of high unsold stocks, the mortgage famine, a shaky economy and the normal winter slowdown gives an ideal scenario for bargain-hunting buyers.”
The prices of new properties being put up for sale are just 1.3% higher than they were a year ago and most experts believe that this figure will drop into negative territory in the coming months. Although a lot of sellers have lost their motivation to move, they remain on the market hoping for that ‘special’ buyer who will match their out-dated and inflated valuation.