Rightmove says 'good time to sell' despite Brexit and near-flat house prices

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
UK properties coming to market are falling. Photo: PA

The number of UK properties coming up for sale last month dropped to its lowest in a decade, as Brexit, the election and sluggish price growth deter sales.

The average number of new listings in October was 13.5% lower than a year ago, falling to 24,539 properties, according to figures from property site Rightmove.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s director and housing market analyst, said it was “actually a good time to sell,” with less competition from other sellers and buyer demand virtually unchanged.

“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,” he said.

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“Ironically, this means that those who are coming to market have a better chance of selling, so while some would-be sellers are being put off, it’s actually a good time to sell.”

“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.”

Would-be sellers may be deterred by the relative lack of price growth, with monthly price growth of 0.6% and average asking prices for new sellers down 0.2% on a year ago.

Shipside added: “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.

“They may be waiting for more certainty around both achieving their price aspirations and also the Brexit outcome.”

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