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Asking prices slip for first time this year

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Asking prices for new properties coming to market dipped 0.3 per cent month-on-month to £337,371 in August.

The first monthly decline in asking prices recorded by Rightmove this year was driven by upper end, larger properties where prices fell 0.8 per cent to £616,421 since July. 

Rightmove suggested the drop in prices was down to buyers no longer being able to make larger stamp duty savings at this level, due to the tapering of the incentive at the start of July. 

First-time buyer properties saw asking prices rise by 0.6 per cent to £208,714, while asking prices for second stepper homes increased by 0.3 per cent to £309,643.  

Annually, house prices rose 5.6 per cent, flat on the 5.7 per cent year-on-year change recorded last month. 

Rightmove said buyer demand was still strong and predicted there would be an “autumn bounce” both in seller activity and prices. 

In the first week of August, enquiries to agents surged by 56 per cent on pre-pandemic levels and were down by just 17 per cent on post-lockdown levels, when activity was high. 

In July, the average time for a newly-listed property to be sold subject to contract was at its quickest at 36 days. Since the beginning of the year, the average time to find a buyer has steadily declined from 65 days in January. 

Meanwhile, the market is still seeing a lack of available stock as the average available homes per registered agent dropped to 50 in July, down from 55 in June. 

Tim Bannister, director of data at Rightmove, said: “Our analysis shows that average prices have only fallen in the upper-end sector, which is usually more affected by seasonal factors such as the summer holidays and has also seen the greatest withdrawal of stamp duty incentives.  

“The mass-market of properties that cater for first-time buyers and second-steppers is still seeing high demand and upwards price pressure leading to new record high average prices in those sectors.” 

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