84% of home sales at less than asking price


More than four in five homes for sale ended up being bought for less than the asking price in November - the highest number in at least three years.

Some 84% of properties were sold for under the asking price last month, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said, marking the highest percentage since it started monitoring the figure in September 2013.

In November last year, just over three-quarters (76%) of homes sold for less than the asking price across the UK.

Estate agents typically had 39 properties on their books in November this year, down from 43 in October.

An average of 344 house hunters were registered per branch in November, down from 440.

The number of sales agreed also decreased in November, with eight per branch on average, down from nine in October.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: "Following the EU referendum earlier this year, we faced a few months of low confidence from buyers and sellers, although in October the market bounced back to full form.

"We expect this is still the case, and this month's slow-down is simply down to seasonality - many sellers hold off until January to put their properties on the market, and likewise buyers are more inclined to start the year with a property search, rather than attempting it over Christmas.

"Likewise, although a large number of sales were made below asking price in November, this can also be put down to the time of year."

Several forecasts have pointed to house prices heading upwards next year, despite economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) expects to see 3% price growth across the UK amid a continued shortage of supply.

Nationwide Building Society expects to see prices increase by around 2%, with low interest rates helping to underpin demand.