Estate agents unfazed by Rightmove report of 1.7% drop in house prices

The 1.7% house price drop for August reported by Rightmove is being played down by the National Association of Estate Agents.

Rightmove’s house price index says the asking price of newly marketed property is down by £4,091 this month as oversupply coincides with buyers being away on holiday.

This equates to a 1.7% drop for August, the biggest drop of the year, following a 0.6% fall in July.

It says the average house price in England and Wales slipped to £232,241 in August.

But Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA, says it is only one month’s statistics from one firm and should be considered in this context.

He adds: “The summer months are traditionally low and we have been going through a weird pick-up through a lack of housing supply.

“Also, we have to question whet-her the asking price or number of sales is the important thing. It doesn’t matter if prices are down by 1.7% if they are not being sold.”

He adds: “People have got to sit back and see what happens and consumers are taking a mediumterm view rather than waiting for each month’s figures.”

Search activity on Rightmove’s website hit a new record in August as buyers looked for prospective homes.

And although demand remains high, affordability is still a key issue with six out of 10 renters admitting they would like to buy but cannot afford to.

Miles Shipside, director of Right-move, says: “No-one really wants to come to market in August unless they have to. It shows these new sellers have a compelling need to sell, as they have lopped over £4,000 off the average asking price.

“Those who marketed earlier in the year but have yet to find a buyer may have to do a bit of pruning of their own to beat this new com-petition.

Holidaying buyers can relax on the beach while back at home sellers are reducing the cost of their future property by the price of the family holiday.”