Rightmove’s latest house price index shows that national asking prices were down 2.3 per cent from July to August.
This leaves the average asking price at £301,973 as compared to the £309,191 that sellers asked for in July.
The report states that this drop is due to a “late summer sale”, as sellers attempt to find buyers more quickly in the sunnier months, and can be put down to historical trends. Rightmove states that last year, sales were down 2.1 per cent, although they were reported as being down 0.9 per cent a year before.
This revised number, according to Rightmove is due to a change in methodology in January 2018, plus the inclusion of figures from Scotland.
The report adds that sales agreed numbers were down slightly year-on-year, at -0.8 per cent, but that it expects an “upturn in prices and buyer activity expected in the Autumn, especially if buyers are tempted by sellers pricing cheaper.”
Connells Group Estate Agency chief executive David Plumtree agrees: “We usually see a flurry of activity as the summer comes to a close and as thoughts turn to getting moved in time for Christmas and starting a new year in a new home,” he says.
The most aggressive monthly changes were in London, with an average fall of 3.1 per cent in the greater area (down 1.2 per cent annually), closely followed by the South East, where properties fell 2.3 per cent (up 0.6 per cent annually).
On an annual basis overall, UK house prices were up 1.1 per cent in August in contrast to 1.4 per cent in July.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside says: “Sellers who come to market in the peak holiday month often have a pressing need to sell and price down accordingly, and are offering ‘summer sale’ prices to entice holiday – distracted buyers.
“The market started its most recent cyclical price upturn in 2010, and since then the average price of property coming to market has gone up by 32 per cent, stretching buyer affordability. More substantial discounts are therefore required to tempt warier buyers, with higher house prices also tightening the purse strings of lenders.
“With lacklustre average wage growth, more buyers are bumping up against the tighter lending criteria brought in four years ago following the Mortgage Market Review, which were intended to prevent another boom – and – bust cycle,” he adds