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

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
House for Sale Signs.  28/04/03 : Further evidence of a north-south divide in the housing market emerged as figures showed the first fall in national prices since November 2001. Property website hometrack said the slowdown had been felt the most in the South East, although counties above a line from the River Severn to The Wash still reported healthy rises. Overall, prices in England and Wales fell 0.1% in April, continuing 11 months of steady decline in house price inflation since May s peak of 2.6%. 02/06/03 : Despite two years of soaring prices homes remain affordable across Britain researchers have claimed. Mortgage lender Cheltenham & Gloucester said anyone buying a house now would have to spend an average of 33.4% of their salary on mortgage repayments -   33.40 for every   100 they earned. But the figure is only slightly higher than the   28.60 for every   100 they earnt that would have been taken up by repayments in 1999, before the current boom first started, and well below the   71.30 per   100 they would have spent in 1990.  08/08/03 : House prices increased by almost 13% in England and Wales in the past year, figures showed. The Land Registry s quarterly residential property price report said that prices were 12.52% higher between April and June than they had been during the same period last year.  22/04/2004: More than a third of first-time buyers say they have given up hope of being able to buy their own home for at least a year, research showed Thursday April 22, 2004.  But half of those looking to buy said they would be prepared to buy a property they did not like, in an area they did not want to live in, just to get on to the ladder, according to Yorkshire Bank.  10/06/2004  Consumers who are relying on property to provide them with a retirement income could be left "high and dry" if there is a house price crash, a report warned Thursday June 10, 2004. Market analyst Datamonitor said people were increasingly seeing property as a "get out of jail free card", viewing it as the new pension. It warned, however, that rental downturns or a return to negative equity could leave people with a pension shortfall.  *15/06/04: The pace of house price growth has slowed for the first time in six months as buyers assess the market following interest rate rises, figures showed. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said speculation that interest rates would rise steeply this year following the increases already seen had dampened buyers' mood.  25/09/04: Britons are wasting  224 million each year in fines for missed payments and interest charges when moving house, new research has shown. Nearly a quarter of families forget to tell utility firms or their banks that they have moved, triggering penalties that add to the financial burden of changing address. A poll by bills payments group Direct Debit found that people move house an average of six times in their lifetime.  06/10/04: Confidence in the housing market has fallen for the fourth month in a row, according to research published. The Woolwich consumer confidence index shows that just over half (52%) of homeowners believe their property will continue to increase in value compared to 56% in August and 62% in July.  20/11/04: An estimated 18 million homeowners are relying on their property to form part of their retirement income, according to research published. And more than 3.8 million are expecting it to provide over half the amount, the research from the Prudential found.  27/11/04: Exeter has seen the largest increase in house prices of any UK city over the past five years, while Aberdeen has seen the smallest, according to figures. An average property in Exeter now costs  199,018, a rise of 156%, the study by the Halifax found.
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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