The housing market is still busy, with more buyers than properties, but asking prices have dipped very slightly for the first time this year.

The average asking price of a property in the UK has dipped slightly in August by 1.3% to £365,173, according to Rightmove.

Buyer enquiries to agents are 4% lower than last year but still 20% higher than in 2019. Rightmove says that new listings are up by 12% on the same period last year but 6% down compared to 2019.

Property shortage

There is still a shortage of available properties, with housing stock down 39% on 2019.

The property website says that the slight dip in asking prices is mainly due to seasonal trends, blaming the summer and claiming that prices will recover once buyers return from their holidays. A spokesman for Rightmove said that a drop in asking prices was ‘to be expected’ due to summer holiday distractions.

‘Sellers who want or need to move quickly at this time of year tend to price competitively in order to find a suitable buyer fast, with some hoping to complete their move in time to enjoy Christmas in a new home,’ says Tim Bannister from Rightmove. ‘To achieve that this year, they’d need to beat the current average time between accepting an offer and completing the sale of four and a half months. Nevertheless, we’re still expecting price changes for the rest of the year to continue to follow the usual seasonal pattern, which means we’ll end the year at around 7% annual growth, even with the wider economic uncertainty.’

Avoiding the summer holidays

Some estate agents have been advising sellers with high-value properties to market their homes outside of the summer holidays to enable them to generate as much interest as possible from prospective buyers.

The recent base rate increase of 0.5% has put pressure on first-time buyers where affordability is concerned. Rightmove says that average monthly mortgage payments for new first-time buyers with a 10% deposit have exceeded £1000 for the first time.

If you’re a first-time buyer, we recommend getting your paperwork in order as swiftly as possible so that your broker can shop around for you and get you the most competitive mortgage rate for you. While rates have gone up, there are still some good deals available, but some of them aren’t around for long, so time is of the essence. We’re here to help with mortgage advice.

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