Financial uncertainty continues though price drop in line with the norm
National average asking price Month Avg. asking price Monthly change Annual change Index November 2022 £366,999 -1.1% +7.2% 283.7 October 2022 £371,158 +0.9% +7.8% 286.9 House Price Index
• The average price of property coming to the market drops by 1.1% (-£4,159) this month, which despite the weight of financial uncertainty is in line with the average 1.1% drop recorded in November during the pre-pandemic years of 2015-2019
• The proportion of properties seeing a reduction is only slightly up on pre-pandemic levels, though a slowdown in activity from last year's frenetic market has led more sellers to be willing to reduce their asking price to agree a quicker sale:
• In October, 8% of unsold properties on Rightmove were reduced in the month, in line with the 7.5% of properties that were reduced in October 2019
• However, it is double the 4% in October 2021 as the market becomes increasingly price sensitive and emphasises the importance of listening to your agent’s recommendation on pricing
• Some new buyers appear to be holding off to wait for more financial certainty, while others who were already stretching themselves have now had to pause:
• Buyer demand is still up by 4% on the more normal market of 2019, but down by 20% on October last year
• First-time buyer properties continue to be the most affected sector, with year-on-year demand down by 26% in October, while second stepper demand is down by 17%, and top of the ladder is down by 15%
• The era of historically low interest rates is over, but there are signs that mortgage rates and availability are now settling down
The average price of newly-marketed homes dips by 1.1% this month (-£4,159) to £366,999. As is usual in November, sellers are pricing more competitively to try to find a buyer in the last months of the year. This monthly price drop is exactly in line with the average 1.1% that Rightmove recorded in November during the pre-pandemic years of 2015 to 2019, and so should not be regarded in isolation as a negative indicator. However, there are signs that more existing sellers, whose properties were already on the market and unsold, are willing to take their agents’ recommendations and reduce their prices in order to achieve a quicker sale. The proportion of unsold properties seeing a price reduction has increased only slightly from the pre-pandemic 7.5% in October 2019 to 8% this October. However, it has doubled from the figure of 4% in the frenzied market of October 2021. Buyer demand is still performing better than it was during the more normal market of 2019, but it is clear that we have returned to a much more price-sensitive housing market after two years of a buying frenzy.
The first-time buyer sector saw the biggest increase in activity during the market frenzy of the past two years, butis now facing the biggest challenges after the sudden jump in mortgage interest rates, though there are signs over the past few weeks that rates and availability are starting to settle down. This is despite a record breaking base rate rise last week, as that rise had largely been factored in by lenders. The drop in buyer demand versus the strong market of last year is highest in the typical first-time buyer sector, with demand down by 26% on this time last year, though still up by 7% on this time in 2019. In the second stepper sector demand is down by 17%, and at the top of the ladder there has been a drop of 15%. Overall, total demand is still 4% higher than in 2019, but 20% lower than in October last year as the ongoing financial uncertainty weighs on the market.