Share of homes sold for below the asking price 'highest in at least five years'

More than four in five homes sold in November went for less than the asking price - the highest proportion in at least five years - according to estate agents.

Across the UK, 85% of properties sold in November were snapped up for under the asking price, according to NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) Propertymark.

This was up from 78% in October and marked the highest figure since its records started in January 2013.

Only 12% of properties sold at the original asking price in November - which was also the lowest on NAEA Propertymark's records. The remaining 3% of homes sold went for more than the asking price.

The average number of properties available to buy on estate agents' books fell from 42 in October to 34 in November - marking the lowest number of properties available since January 2016.

Demand from house hunters also decreased, to its lowest levels since September 2016.

And the number of sales agreed per branch fell for the first time since July, from eight per branch in October, to seven in November.

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: "A record number of properties sold for less than the original asking price last month, but despite this, demand for housing and the number of homes available decreased.

"We usually see a slow-down in the property market around Christmas time but our November data shows this happened much earlier this year.

"It's clear that more and more potential buyers and sellers have put their plans on hold early so they can start afresh next year."