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PROPERTY SELLERS GET COMPETITIVE WITH CHRISTMAS PRICE REDUCTIONS

PROPERTY SELLERS GET COMPETITIVE WITH CHRISTMAS PRICE REDUCTIONS

Residential News | Fri 15 Dec 2023
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Yorkshire’s housing market is bucking the national trend of falling property prices according to the latest data from Rightmove.

Average asking prices for newly listed homes have dropped by 1.9% in December, which is higher than the previous 20-year average reductions of 1.5% due to seasonal factors, as sellers get more competitive.

Rightmove’s figures also show the 2023 market was more resilient than many predicted as it continued its slow transition from frenzy to more normality with new seller average asking prices just 1.1% below where they were a year ago. In addition, sales agreed for the year to date are only 13% lower than the same period in the more frenetic 2022.

However, Yorkshire and the Humber is one of several regions where asking prices have increased, with Rightmove’s data showing year on year growth of 0.7%.

Rightmove’s data also shows that buyer demand in the mid-market, second-stepper sector is up the most against last year’s post-mini-Budget period at +9%, while overall buyer demand is up by 6% after some movers paused to wait for calmer conditions.

Rightmove predicts that new seller asking prices will drop nationally by an average of 1% in 2024, with motivated sellers still needing to price below their local competition to secure a sale, as buyer affordability remains stretched. However, the data also shows that average mortgage rates have now fallen for 19 consecutive weeks, with the average five-year fixed mortgage rate now 5.11% compared to 6.11% in July.

Patrick McCutcheon, our head of residential said: “Although transactions have been lower this year than in 2022, Yorkshire’s property market has held up well. Mortgage rates have fluctuated, and this has made buyers more risk-averse, but this month’s decision to hold interest rates is another sign that things are calming down and we expect to see lenders continuing to compete for business, which is positive news for buyers.

“Both buyers and sellers are taking a more realistic approach now and ultimately a well-presented property that’s accurately priced with a reputable estate agent that knows the local market inside out will sell.

“Lots of potential movers have been waiting to see what happens this year and it’s likely that cheaper mortgages combined with a broader choice of property for sale will encourage many to go for it in 2024.”

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, commented: “Further price falls beyond the usual seasonal trends that we’d expect at this time of year signal that some new sellers are continuing to act on the advice of agents to price competitively. We entered this year under a cloud of uncertainty, as the fallout from the Autumn mini-Budget filtered through to lower activity levels.

“High mortgage rates which have added to already-stretched buyer affordability have been a challenge throughout 2023 and this is likely to carry into next year. However for now, there appears to be more calm and certainty heading into 2024, and the annual fall of 1.1% in asking prices highlights the market’s much-better-than-predicted resilience this year.”

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