The latest data from Rightmove reveals that property asking prices in the UK have inched up by an average of £1,950 or 0.5% this month. However, in Yorkshire and the Humber, there was a slightly larger increase of 0.6%. This means that the average asking price in this region now stands at £248,000, which marks a 1.8% rise compared to this time last year.
Nevertheless, the national monthly increase of 0.5% is the smallest average asking price surge seen at this time of year since 2008, and well below the typical figure for October, which historically stands at 1.4%. Additionally, the number of sales agreed is 17% lower than this time last year. Sellers who are struggling to align their price expectations with current market activity levels are finding their properties lingering on the market.
Rightmove also highlights that the number of buyers making inquiries for each available home for sale is 8% higher than in the more typical, pre-Covid market of 2019. Moreover, it emphasises the significance of immediate buyer interest, stating that a property receiving its first buyer inquiry on the first day of marketing, as opposed to after two weeks, is 60% more likely to find a buyer.
Rightmove’s analysis of the mortgage market shows that fixed rates have now dropped for 11 consecutive weeks. The average two-year fixed rate is now below 6% for the first time since June, and the average five-year fixed rate has decreased from 6.08% 11 weeks ago to 5.43% now.
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has 20 offices in West and North Yorkshire, said: “Accurate pricing is vitally important in the current market to generate immediate momentum when launching a property to market. There are buyers waiting for the right homes to come onto the market, but most will steer clear of anything overpriced.
“Although it can be tempting for sellers to price high initially on the off chance there’s a buyer waiting in the wings, and then reduce the price later when it doesn’t sell, this can be a risky strategy in the current market. Instead, motivated sellers need to work with a local estate agent that has a strong track record in their local area and a thorough understanding of the market, to get their price right from the outset.”
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, commented: “New seller asking prices have seen a rise, as they usually do at this time of year following the summer holiday season. While this year’s much more subdued rise indicates that some new sellers are gradually heeding their agents’ advice to price competitively, agents report that other sellers still need to adjust their expectations on the price that they are likely to achieve in the current post-pandemic, lower-activity market, where six in ten homes are now selling rather than eight in ten.
“In a market that agents describe as the most price-sensitive ever, buyers are likely to be on the look-out for homes that they feel represent excellent value, and to attract one of these motivated buyers, sellers need to price right first time. If similar nearby properties for sale appear overpriced, serious sellers have an opportunity to stand out from the crowd with a more competitive price and attract immediate buyer interest that our research shows significantly increases the likelihood of finding a buyer.
“Mortgage rates continue to trend in the right direction and have now dropped for 11 consecutive weeks, with buyer affordability gradually improving compared to this time a year ago. Those with a larger deposit have seen the biggest benefit from recent rate drops, with rates for those with a smaller deposit, typically those further down the housing ladder, not dropping as quickly. The mortgage market is much more stable right now compared to three months ago, giving movers a little more assurance over the rate they are likely to be offered and therefore what they are likely to be able to afford. Those looking to secure a new home for the new year should apply for a Mortgage in Principle to work out what they could afford, and listen to local estate agents about what’s happening in their local housing market.”