Summer season pushes asking prices off the end of the pier: Rightmove

The Rightmove House Price Index found that the average asking price dropped to £365,173 in August – down 1.3%. New listings are up 12% on a year earlier but down 6% on 2019, and although buyer numbers are down 4% in a year, they’re still up a fifth from pre-Covid levels.

The stock of property on the market is 39% lower than in 2019. Annual house price growth slowed to 8.2%. It expects prices to rise 7% during 2022.Rightmove has published its House Price Index for August.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown: “The summer season has pushed asking prices off the end of the pier. Optimistic sellers have been forced to face the fact that the market isn’t as hot as they’d hoped, and have been cutting asking prices for the first time in 2022. It’s not unusual for the time of year, but it’s unlikely to be the last of it.

Rightmove said that a fall of this size was common at this time of year. More people tend to put their property on the market in the summer, and if they haven’t sold by now, they take stock. A sale tends to take just over four months and they want to sell by Christmas, so they know that now is the time for a cut.

However, there are plenty of signs that this won’t be the last of the falls in asking prices. Buyer numbers are still a fifth higher than pre-pandemic levels, but they’re dropping. The RICS survey published last week also highlighted that these aren’t the same kinds of buyers as we saw during the boom. They’re more cautious, more sensitive to what’s going on in the wider world, and are more likely to pull out of sales because of rising prices, increasing rates and more job insecurity.

It also found that even when an asking price doesn’t move, buyers may have to accept lower offers to shift a property – particularly at the more expensive end of the market. It means the drop in the prices being accepted by sellers may be even bigger than the official cut in the asking price.”