With Brexit looming, is it really a good time to sell a home? – This is Money

With Brexit looming, is it really a good time to sell a home? – This is Money

With Brexit looming, is it a good time to sell a home? Buyers have less negotiating power thanks to lack of choice, Rightmove boss claims

  • Average asking price of a home sees lowest October uplift since 2008
  • Usually an ‘autumn bounce’ that lull of summer activity and Christmas causes
  • Rightmove boss Miles Shipside insists it is a good time to sell a home 

By Lee Boyce for Thisismoney.co.uk

Published: 08:28 BST, 21 October 2019 | Updated: 09:35 BST, 21 October 2019

The average price of a home coming to market saw its lowest monthly rise at this time of year since October 2008, according to the latest report from property website Rightmove.

It says that asking prices were up 0.6 per cent – or nearly £2,000 – with the typical price tag of a home now sitting at £306,712.

At this time of year, there is usually an ‘autumn bounce’ in the price sellers demand as housing market activity increases between the lulls of summer holidays and Christmas.

However, the number of sellers is down by 13.5 per cent annually – perhaps because some are waiting for a greater opportunity to maximise their money, Rightmove said.

Regional picture: How asking prices have changed across England, Wales and Scotland

It suggested that some potential sellers are perhaps being deterred by the lack of price momentum – but that actually, it is a good time to sell.

Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, said: ‘In a strange Brexit-induced paradox, thousands of potential sellers are holding back compared to this time a year ago, though the number of buyers agreeing purchases is virtually the same.

‘Ironically, this means those who are coming to market have a better chance of selling… it’s actually a good time to sell.’

He adds: ‘Those who are ignoring the Brexit disruption have less competition from stay-away sellers, and their prospective buyers have less negotiating power, with a reduced choice of suitable alternatives.’

Estate agents say the prevalence of ‘must-movers’ in the property market rather than people who are trying their luck is leading to fewer sales falling through.

Despite the large fall in sellers, the proportion of sales agreed that have fallen through so far this year is the lowest since 2015 – in a sign that those who are buying and selling are focused on making transactions go through.

Small rise: The ‘autumn bounce’ often results in October having some big upward asking price movements

Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings at estate agent Benham and Reeves, said that while many sellers have been hesitating, ‘a healthy level of sales are still transacting, and this is proof that the UK property market is yet to disappear down the Brexit abyss.

‘With only the serious home buyer and seller deciding to enter the fray, we’re seeing less tyre kickers and as a result, a reduction in the number of sales falling through, which is another positive to take from the current climate.’

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: ‘Although the UK is yet to experience an autumn bounce it doesn’t mean one isn’t on its way.

‘Today’s data shows that sales aren’t falling through as regularly as they have been, which suggests that the market is currently being driven by must-movers.’

Miles adds: ‘Some sellers are speculative, encouraged to try their luck if they judge that the market has a degree of froth which might increase their chances of banking a high price.

‘With upwards pricing power now pretty flat, some sellers who are motivated by maximising their money seem to be holding back.’

The monthly Rightmove index looks at prices of homes listed on its website. Last week, figures from the Office for National Statistics, that uses sold prices – but lags a month behind – said that values increased 1.3 per cent annually.

Nationwide Building Society recently revealed that prices in September were up just 0.2 per cent annually, while Halifax said they were up 1.1 per cent in the same period.

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