Asking prices stretch to all-time high but ‘under offers’ shrink – and transactions plummet by a quarter

New asking prices have hit another all-time record high although the number of sales agreed so far this year has dwindled by 5.4% on a year ago, Rightmove reports this morning.

Separately, another tracker of the market – LSL – said transactions plunged 25% in April, compared with March.

According to Rightmove, in the south-east, sales agreed are down 8.5% in the first four months of this year; in the east of England by 7.8%, and in London by 6.9%.

Despite fewer buyers biting, Rightmove said that agents are listing new-to-market homes for prices up 0.8% more than a month ago, at £308,075. In seven out of 11 regions, new asking prices are at a record high.

On an annual basis, average new asking prices are up 1.1%.

However they are down, albeit very slightly, on an annual basis in both London (0.2% down) and the south-east (down 0.1%). It is a different story in the east midlands, west midlands and Wales, where they are up by over 4%.

Rightmove said that localised markets are operating at different speeds, but warned that the overall picture “is one of a less buoyant market both in terms of price growth and the number of sales agreed”.

Despite this, Rightmove reported record traffic in the first four months of this year, apparently showing that interest in property remains robust even if would-be buyers seem troubled by affordability.

Time on the market fell to 59 days on average during April, from 61 in March, but longer than the 55 days recorded this time last year.

Average stock also increased from 45 to 47 per agent between March and April, but was flat on April 2017.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “After six years of continual year-on-year price growth, the current market is becoming increasingly price-sensitive, with new-to-the-market sellers being limited to an average asking price growth of just 1.1% over the last year.

“This is in spite of there being plenty of historically cheap mortgage products around for buyers who meet lenders’ criteria.

“Sellers need to pitch their price at a tempting level to entice buyers, as while there are signs of strong demand there appears to be hesitation among some buyers to commit.”

He said there were signs that the softening in the London market is now spreading to the commuter belt.

Separately, in other data released today, agency group LSL says that actual house prices fell in April for the third month in a row.

The agent puts average sold prices at £302,252,  just 1.9% lower than Rightmove’s latest new asking prices.

Your Move also estimates sales of just 50,000 in April, down by a quarter on March.

Much of the slowdown came from London and the south-east, the firm says.

London saw a monthly drop of 2.1% and an annual 2.5% fall in average prices to £601,808, while the south-east saw flat monthly growth and just 0.4% annual growth to £376,768.

The index found that prices in Wales were up by the most at 4.8% annually to £186,039 as buyers sought to avoid changes to the Land Transaction Tax introduced in April.

Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move, said: “The market remains slow when it comes to the number of transactions.”

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  1. CRB1066

    Another clear as mud report from Rightmove.

    Love the way this is trying to soften the blow that prices are falling in the south east…….and we know what starts from London……..

  2. Room101

    Despite this, Rightmove reported record traffic in the first four months of this year, apparently showing that interest in property remains robust even if would-be buyers seem troubled by affordability.


    Of course they have had record traffic whilst home owners and agents alike pound their pages trying to work out what is going on with prices.

    Shall we take bets that “record traffic” will be regurgitated around about the same time as their next round of fee increases.



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