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Sellers hesitant as property listings crash 15 per cent

Shekina Tuahene
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Shekina Tuahene

The number of new properties being brought to market has dropped almost 15 per cent compared with last year suggesting sellers are being put off by political uncertainty and slow price growth.

There was a 14.9 per cent year-on-year drop in the number of new sellers in November, as the price of a property coming to market saw a monthly decline of 1.3 per cent to £302,808, according to Rightmove’s House Price Index. 

Year-on-year, this was a 0.3 per cent increase in the average asking price. 

The East Midlands was the only region to see an annual increase in the average asking price as it increased by 2.2 per cent. 

Buyers undeterred 

However, the number of sales completed fell by just 2.9 per cent compared to this time last year, suggesting buyer activity remained relatively steady. 

Properties with four or more bedrooms were the most active sector in November with just a 1.4 per cent drop in the number of sales agreed as buyers took advantage of the 1.2 per cent decrease in price. 

Lack of choice driving sales 

Jeremy Leaf, former Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors residential chairman, said: “What is surprising is that sales agreed seem to have held up very well. 

“Less choice can result in more sales as the lack of stock focuses the mind.” 

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, added: “Our monthly poll of the housing market shows a clear swing towards hesitation for prospective sellers, leading to buyers losing the extra choice that thousands more newly-marketed properties would bring.  

“In spite of this, buyers are continuing with their purchasing plans, with the number of sales agreed only marginally down on a year ago.” 

“Many buyers are getting on with their lives and making the most of the better negotiating opportunities that the distractions of electioneering and the seasonal slowdown in the run up to Christmas can bring,” he added.