THE average cost of a home in Great Britain has fallen for just the second time this year.
Prices fell by an average of 1.1% (-£4,159) in November, to £366,999, according to the latest data – although the month has not yet ended.
But why is it happening?
“The slight drop is in line with the trend we usually see at this time of year, and is in line with the five years before the pandemic,” said a spokesperson for Right Move.
“One of the reasons we often see a drop in house prices around now is because sellers will price more competitively at this time of year, to increase their chances of finding a buyer before the New Year.
“But even with this dip in prices, the average house price is still 7% higher than this time in 2021.”
The main reason for the strong house price growth we’ve seen over the last two years is because demand for homes far outweighed the number of homes for sale.
As home-movers were faced with less choice and chased too few properties for sale, prices were pushed to an all-time high.The good news for home-hunters is that more homes are being listed for sale.
The number of new sellers putting their homes on the market was up 13% this month, compared to the same period a year ago.
And the stamp duty savings put in place in September are set to stay until March 2025, as announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, the guidance is to make sure it’s priced competitively from the time it’s listed for sale, in order to attract interest from buyers, according to Right Move’s Tim Bannister.
“We’re hearing from agents that both existing and new sellers understand that to sell in the current market they need to price competitively,” he said.
“During the market frenzy many agents said that they had to rip up the rule-book on valuing properties due to bidding wars, but now they’re back in more familiar territory, and pricing right first time is even more critical to securing a quick sale.”
Andrew Marshall, regional director at Hamptons, also said that it’s important to price your home competitively from the time it’s listed for sale.
“We often find that the most critical time to find a buyer is during the first couple of weeks of a property being marketed,” he said.
“By agreeing a price with your agent from the beginning that is in line with the market as a whole, it can help generate more viewings and could lead to a quicker sale, without the need for a reduction.”
What’s happening with mortgage rates?
Recently, lenders have tightened the rules around mortgage affordability. This is to make sure people will still be able to afford their monthly mortgage repayments, along with other outgoings, should their payments increase.
Higher interest rates also mean that it’s now more expensive to borrow money, so monthly mortgage payments are, on the whole, higher than they were just a few months ago.
While mortgage rates have begun to fall over recent weeks – down from the highs they reached just after September’s mini-budget – it can mean that your mortgage options might be more limited at the moment, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.
Tim Bannister added: “The era of historically low interest rates and the buying frenzy are over, which could make way for a more normal market that opens up potential opportunities for those who were put off entering the frantic market over the past two years.”
If you’re turned down for a mortgage with one lender, it doesn’t mean you’ll be turned down by all lenders.
You can speak to a qualified mortgage broker or adviser to work out what your options are moving forward.