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Residential News | Fri 21 Jul 2023
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The average price of a new home coming to market fell by £905 or 0.2% in the past month, according to the latest figures from Rightmove, but despite rising interest rates, buyer demand remains resilient and is currently 3% higher than 2019 according to the property search portal.

However, Yorkshire and the Humber bucked the national trend and was one of the few regions where asking prices rose, increasing by 0.7% in the past month. This means the average asking price in Yorkshire and the Humber now stands at £248,755, which is a 2.1% increase on this time last year.

Rightmove’s figures also showed that recent base rate rises to combat stickier-than-expected inflation are biting, with the number of sales agreed now 12% behind 2019’s more normal market, in contrast to 2023’s better-than-expected first five months. The number of available properties for sale is also 12% lower than at this time in 2019.

Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has 20 offices in West and North Yorkshire, said: “In many cases the market has steadied itself back to the time immediately before covid. This means buyers have the time to properly consider their budgets and offers, as well as researching the market more thoroughly, which is in contrast to the last couple of years where everything has been done at an over-inflated and frantic pace.

“Despite interest rates increasing, homes that are priced accurately are still attracting motivated buyers due to a shortage of property for sale compared to historic norms.

“However, if sellers insist on over-pricing at the outset, they can run into problems, with Rightmove’s data showing that properties that need a reduction in asking price are more than 10% less likely to find a buyer than those that are priced properly when they first hit the market.

“This is precisely why sellers should use an estate agent with a thorough understanding of the local market, because a well-presented home that’s correctly priced will always attract plenty of interest.”

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, commented: “The interest-rate brakes being applied more strongly to slow the economy are now beginning to bite in the housing market. While prices and sales bounced back this year much more strongly than most expected, the unexpectedly stubborn inflation figures and the surprise of further mortgage rate rises when many felt that they had stabilised, have contributed to the fall in prices and number of sales agreed.

“However, buyer demand remains resilient at 3% above 2019’s more normal market levels, buoyed by a shortage of quality property for sale and ongoing housing needs. First-time buyers, trader-uppers and downsizers with higher deposits and lower mortgage requirements appear to be still keenly searching the market, not wanting to miss out on the right property that is not over-priced and that they can still afford.”

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