Asking prices record largest monthly drop since January
According to the Rightmove house price index, this was the largest monthly decline since January this year and compared to a 1.8% growth last month.
On an annual basis, average asking prices were up by 6.3%.
Rightmove suggested the monthly decline was down to sellers trying to attract buyers ahead of a post-Christmas surge in buyer activity.
The company said it had been seeing a steady rise in buyer activity after the festive period each year, with over 51 million visits being made to its website between Boxing Day last year and the first working day of the new year.
In preparation for this boom in interest, Rightmove said that in October there was a 14% rise in the number of requests made by homeowners for valuations from estate agents, compared with the same period last year.
Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said new sellers were giving prospective buyers an “early Christmas present” by dropping their asking prices.
He said: “Sellers who come to market this close to the distractions of Christmas often have a pressing reason to sell, so naturally price more attractively to grab the attention of prospective buyers who may be otherwise occupied. We expect this downward price trend to be relatively short-lived, though sellers who are in a hurry will continue to need to attract buyers for most of December as well.
Bannister added: “Plus, if they’re able to secure a buyer for their home early in the new year and they are looking to buy again, it puts them in a powerful position to secure their next property.
“In the current market, it’s a real advantage to be a “power buyer”, and have already sold your current home subject to contract when looking for somewhere to buy, putting you ahead when trying to buy another property, where there are other offers already on the table.”