Sales dip by up to 8% as agents in difficult areas told to under-cut if they want to sell

Property supply and sales are sliding right across the country, Rightmove reveals this morning. However, there is a distinct north/south divide.

Rightmove says that in the most difficult areas, agents must value new instructions at under the asking prices of similar properties on the market if they stand any chance of achieving a sale. Rightmove says there is “some hesitancy to engage in the market” in the southern part of the country – although buyer demand is still high in the north.

Average new asking prices are close to a record high, up 0.3% on a monthly basis at £309,348, with new all-time price highs in the east midlands, the north west, Wales, and Yorkshire & the Humber.

However, the portal’s figures show that sales agreed have fallen 4.3% annually across the UK, while new seller supply is down an average of 5%.

The largest falls in sales agreed were in the south-west at 7.9%, and 7.4% in the east of England.

Declines were not as drastic in the north, but even here they fell 1.7%.

It is a similar pattern with new listings. Supply is down 5% nationally, and by the most in the south-east and London at 6.1% and 17.5% respectively.

In contrast, supply is up by 0.3% in the east midlands and falling just 0.2% in Yorkshire & Humberside, Rightmove says.

New listings are down 2.5% in Wales, 2% in the north-east and 2.7% in the north-west on an annual basis.

Rightmove’s analysis also shows that time to sell in May was 63 days, compared with 56 at the same time last year, while average stock per agent has increased from 50 in May 2018 to 52 last month.

Mark Manning, director of north-based agent Manning Stainton, said that in the north it is still a sellers’ market.

He said the region is poised for further growth as the “sheer weight of buyer demand” pushes prices higher.

He said: “Since the start of the year just over a third of all the properties that we’ve listed have been sold for their asking price or higher and with an average selling price of just over 98% of the asking price it seems that sellers are still calling the shots.”

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “The national market faces a range of challenges, with overall average asking prices barely changed from last year, and activity levels slightly lower.

“Some buyers are hesitant due to the long-drawn-out uncertainty of Brexit, and there is also a slight tightening of mortgage availability and stretched buyer affordability, especially when it comes to raising a deposit.

“There is however a marked north-south divide as all northern regions are selling better than those in the southern part of the UK.

“To sell in these more difficult locations you have to under-cut the asking prices of similar properties, and preferably have a well-finished and expertly marketed home that will all combine to stir hesitant buyer interest.”


New Listings

Sales Agreed

UK Overall



East midlands



East of England






North east



North west






South east



South west






West midlands



Yorkshire and The Humber





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  1. JonnyBanana43

    “Rightmove says that in the most difficult areas, agents must value new instructions at under the asking prices of similar properties on the market if they stand any chance of achieving a sale. ”


    I don’t think so!!

    1. AJP123

      What’s the OTM view on this JB43,?

  2. ArthurHouse02

    “Value new instructions under the asking price of similar properties”, Says someone who has never sat in someones home listening to the vendor tell you their house is the best in the street because the builder built it for himself.

  3. smile please

    Ahh sales are tough, you need to reduce asking prices …… by the way we will continue to increase your fees.

  4. DrNuts

    The domestic property market is totally stagnant in the East Midlands. A lot of the properties are like the TV programme the ‘Undateables’ – unsaleable. Next to motorways, next to factories. There’s also a fair amount of over-priced property where the vendors simply don’t need the money so won’t reduce the price. Ultimately everything is saleable – even the ‘undateables’, but prices need to be realistic, and vendors actually have to want to sell.

  5. Property Poke In The Eye

    Value property on sold prices within the last 6-9 months,  not asking prices (facts).  As that’s what buyers are looking at.

    I would say asking prices need to be reduced by at least 15% on properties over £500,000 for the market to move, as this will then possibly provide some value for buyers to make a move.

  6. SamH

    “some hesitancy to engage in the market” is an under statement.

    Too many agents operating on a dated instruct-in-hope strategy.

    Educate your sellers (who will still have the best house in the street in a booming market) on what it takes to achieve a premium price, assess their motivations and agree a fair fee. If you can’t nail down 2/3 – pass it on to your competition. Didn’t I read that 62% of properties are sold by the second agent anyway? Let someone else butter your bread.


  7. Property Pundit

    Who listens to this non-agent anymore? Thanks for the stats but leave it to the experts how they conduct themselves on the valuation.


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