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Sellers coming back to market after quiet summer holiday period

There’s been a surge in new property listings so far this month, and it seems that sellers are being more realistic about their asking prices.

In the first week of September, Rightmove saw a huge 16% increase in the number of new properties being listed for sale on its site compared to the last three weeks of August, indicating many have been waiting for “back to school” season before moving forwards with their housing plans.

Asking prices for newly listed homes on the property portal have increased by 1.2% over the past year to £304,061, which Rightmove director Miles Shipside believes shows that sellers are now “pricing sensibly” – and could be a precursor for the gap between asking price and final selling price shrinking.

Less sales agreed in August

On a regional basis, Wales, the Midlands and Yorkshire & the Humber saw average annual asking prices rise by at least 4% over the year, the highest growth levels seen across the UK.

However, the number of sales agreed dropped in August by 1.6%, an escalation on July’s fall of 0.8% according to Rightmove, although with all the new listings popping up this may be set to reverse. In London, there was a 6% rise in the number of sales agreed for homes worth more than £750,000, which is at the upper end of the capital’s property market but far from the prime property bracket as average selling prices in London are currently around £625,942 according to the portal.

Buyers can afford more now

According to Shipside, the fact that wage inflation has spent so long lagging behind house price rises has meant that buyer affordability has been consistently low for many years.

He added: “However in London, after asking prices rose by over 50% between 2011 and their peak in 2016, there have been two years of subsequent price falls in parts of the capital. Now there are signs that these price reductions in parts of London have led to an upturn in buyer activity as sentiment improves.

“The start of the ‘back to school’ season sees a surge of sellers coming to market compared to the preceding quieter holiday period.”

“Sellers aren’t hanging back in coming forward to try and sell, and with average new asking prices just 1.2% higher than a year ago, many seem to be pricing sensibly.”

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