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ASKING PRICES AT A STANDSTILL THIS SUMMER

Residential News | Mon 23 Jul 2018
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The price of new homes coming onto the market this month are an average of 0.1% (-£248) cheaper than last month, according to figures from Rightmove.
The company’s latest figures also show that finding a buyer this summer has been made more difficult due to an 8.6% increase in new seller numbers this month, versus the same period last year.
Sales agreed by estate agents are almost identical (-0.2%) against the same period in 2017, so in areas of over-supply sellers are going to have to work harder to attract a buyer.  Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: “At this time of year many potential sellers are more focused on erecting sun umbrellas as opposed to ‘For Sale’ signs, and would-be buyers are equally distracted by their summer holidays. So while an increase in seller numbers is a welcome sign of more liquidity in a generally stock-starved market, it has unfortunately come at a quieter time of year. Prospective buyers will need tempting with a summer special price or a beautifully finished and presented must-have home, and sellers whose homes tick these boxes then need an estate agent with good marketing skills to promote it effectively.”
The growth in new seller numbers and the flat level of sales agreed have resulted in an increase in total stock per estate agency branch. Nationally the average is 52 properties per branch, the highest level since September 2015. This is another indicator of increased seller competition, with buyers having more to choose from.
Shipside observes: “The number of sales being agreed by estate agents is consistent with the same month in 2017 and is holding up well considering the uncertain political background and stretched buyer affordability. In fact, there are signs that activity is improving as the year progresses with sales agreed year-to-date now down just 3.9%, compared to 5.4% that we reported back in May. Most regions in the middle and north of Britain have brisk market conditions where buyers eagerly soak up extra supply of suitable property coming to market, and where there is enough momentum to support an increase in prices. With less momentum further south, any increase in property coming to market often leads to more property choice and gives buyers more negotiating power. Whilst stock levels are very limited in the brisker market locations, from a national average perspective as we enter the summer holiday period the total stock per estate agency branch is at the highest level for nearly three years.”
Patrick McCutcheon, our head of residential sales, said: “Many parts of Yorkshire have experienced a real shortage of homes for sale over the last few months, but there has been some improvement in July in stock levels. It’s nowhere near the UK average increase of 8.6% reported by Rightmove though – more like an 3% increase. We are welcoming the new listings as our business has a robust number of buyers ready and waiting for the right property to hit the market after being starved of choice recenlty. Of course, competitive and realistic asking prices are still key to attracting buyers, but significant demand is evident across all of our offices.  We’re also seeing an increase in the number of homes going to best and final offers.”

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