Autumn housing market bounce fails to materialise in September

The average price tag on a home fell by £730 month on month in September, as the housing market failed to see the usual autumn bounce, according to a property website.

Rightmove said September usually sees the start of an autumn housing market bounce – and it is the first time that asking prices have fallen month on month since September 2010.

Across Britain, the average seller’s asking price is £304,770, marking a 0.2% fall compared with August.

Brexit uncertainty is causing some people to hesitate.

But with some taking a pause, this also gives autumn buyers who keep their nerve a better negotiating opportunity, Rightmove said.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “The autumn bounce normally kicks off at the same time as kids go back to school, but this year it’s a late starter at best, and if uncertainty persists then the autumn term could be missed altogether and its activities be delayed until the new year.

“Those who are planning to buy or trade up and can keep their nerve whilst others hesitate may find that they are in a stronger negotiating position to get a favourable deal.”

Rightmove house price index
Rightmove’s index shows house price movements across Britain (Rightmove/PA)

Rightmove said the number of sales agreed is down this month in all regions compared with the same period a year ago, with a 5.5% national fall.

This indicates widespread hesitation rather than it being restricted to some geographic areas.

Mr Shipside continued: “In August we reported a pre-Brexit buying spree, with the number of sales agreed up by over 6% compared to the prior year, as buyers and sellers decided to get deals secured well before the next Brexit deadline.

“A month later, as the deadline gets closer and tensions heighten, there has been a big swing the other way with sales agreed numbers now over 5% below those of a year ago.

“Buying activity is still at nearly 95% of what it was a year ago, but sellers in all regions are seeing fewer sales go through, so should be more willing to negotiate with prospective buyers if they want or need to get a deal done.”

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