Sellers pull out of the property market ahead of the Christmas election

Estate agents placards in London © DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
Asking prices have seen their biggest falls for over ten years.

The number of people putting their house on the market has seen its biggest fall for over ten years, according to the latest data from property website Rightmove. Asking prices have also fallen – but that is normal for this time of year as the market slows ahead of Christmas.

In the four weeks to 9 November, the number of sellers fell by almost 15% compared with the same period last year and is the biggest annual fall since August 2009. Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, speculates that sellers may be put off by a combination of Brexit and a general election; something that’s “obviously a new combination … for many thousands of buyers and sellers”. Many owners may be waiting to see what, if anything, happens to stamp duty after the election.

The average asking price of a home in the UK has risen by 0.3%, compared with a fall of 0.2% in the previous month. But with wages rising at 3.6%, says the Office for National Statistics, and consumer price inflation running at 1.5%, affordability continues to increase and the risk of a catastrophic house price crash subsides.

UK house price indices

Just one region saw asking prices rise in the last month – the East Midlands registered a rise of 0.3%.

On an annual basis, London house prices are among the country’s biggest fallers – the average asking price of a home in Greater London fell by 0.8% in the last year to £609,506.  The top end of the market is bearing the brunt of the falls, with a 5.4% monthly slide and a 3.7% annual fall.

The biggest annual fall was in the East of England region, where the average asking price fell by 1.1% in a year to £346,981. Sellers in Yorkshire and the Humber, while seeing a monthly fall of 1.3%, have seen the biggest annual rise at 3.1%, with the average asking price now £192,808.