Why have asking prices fallen this month?

Throughout much of this year, the average asking price of a home across Britain has continued to rise, with huge buyer demand pushing up prices. But, even with an Autumn property market this hot, the lead-up to the festive season and a quieter housing market can have an impact on asking prices, as some home-owners look to find a buyer before Christmas.

This month, we’ve seen the largest fall in asking prices since January, with a dip £2,044 (0.6%) taking the national average to £342,401, although this is still more than 6% higher than a year ago.

Our property expert Tim Bannister says: “Despite the soaring property market and shortage of choice of homes for sale, new sellers have given buyers an early Christmas present by dropping their average asking prices by 0.6%.

“Sellers who come to market this close to the distractions of Christmas often have a pressing reason to sell, so naturally price more attractively to grab the attention of prospective buyers who may be otherwise occupied. We expect this downward price trend to be relatively short-lived, though sellers who are in a hurry will continue to need to attract buyers for most of December as well,” he adds.

National average asking price

Month Avg. asking price Monthly change Annual change
November 2021 £342,401 -0.6% +6.3%
October 2021 £344,445 +1.8% +6.5%

You can check out this month’s full House Price report here.

Sellers tempt bargain-hunting pre-Christmas buyers

December is traditionally the quietest month for active home-hunters, which makes it less competitive for serious buyers at a time when there’s still a window of opportunity to secure a fixed-rate mortgage before the widely expected interest rate rise.

“People looking to move to a new home often get caught up with Christmas festivities and pause their search to the new year, leaving those who are still looking before Christmas able to purchase with less competition,” says Richard Palfreeman, Managing Director at Northfields Estate Agency.

“We often find in November and December that there are vendors who are motivated to secure a sale, and there are some great bargains to be had for buyers.”

Will asking prices continue to fall?

This slight dip in asking prices is only expected to last until Christmas, so there’s a small window of opportunity for buyers to negotiate a deal before the traditional ‘Boxing Day boom’, when we see a huge increase in the number of people browsing properties on Rightmove. Last year, we saw a jump of 54% in visits to the site on the day after Christmas.

Estate agents are already reporting that many home-owners are getting their properties spruced up so they can time their marketing launch to coincide with this wave of new buyers.

“Some of those additional buyers will also be new sellers who have held back from launching their property to market until this Boxing Day buyer boom, judging it to be a good time to sell and to move in 2022,” says our property expert Tim Bannister.

Read our full house price report for November and check average asking prices in your region

READ MORE: Four reasons to get your home ready to sell before Christmas

The header image for this article is provided courtesy of Tatlers, Muswell Hill


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