House asking prices fall to new low

Updated: 
Housing estateHouse sellers have dropped their average asking prices by the largest cash amount for almost four years, a report from Rightmove has found.

The number of new people putting their home on the market has also shrunk back to levels not seen since US investment bank Lehman Brothers crashed in 2008, plunging the world economy into crisis.

All regions in England and Wales showed monthly price falls, the first time this has happened in more than three years. The tumbling figures prompted suggestions of opportunities for landlords to snap up a winter bargain and take advantage of the current rental boom.

Homes went on the market for an average of £232,144 in November, a 3.1% fall on last month's prices, as confidence dwindled following the eurozone crisis and people continued to see their incomes squeezed due to high inflation.

The typical drop of £7,528 from October's prices was the biggest monthly fall in monetary terms since December 2007, although the figure was still up by 1.2% on the same time last year.

Miles Shipside, director of property website Rightmove, said: "There is a nationwide consensus that the balance of power tips further still against sellers.

"Findings from the Rightmove Consumer Confidence Survey for the fourth quarter show that 70% of home movers feel that it is currently a bad time to sell.
"Interestingly, they also hold the view that sellers' travails give buyers much improved negotiating power, with 61% stating they felt it was currently a good time to buy."

Even Greater London, which has bucked the downward trend with a buoyant market, partly due to overseas buyers, saw a 1.2% drop in asking prices in a month, bringing the average figure to £444,724.

East Anglia endured the worst monthly fall in percentage terms, with a 6.9% price fall. The typical asking price there dropped to £211,765 in November. Wales saw the least dramatic loss, with a 0.4% drop, taking typical asking prices to £164,905. Properties included in the study were those put on Rightmove.co.uk from mid-October to mid-November, accounting for the vast majority of homes for sale.
© 2011 Press Association

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