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Property asking prices dive as uncertainty grows

Property asking prices dive as uncertainty grows

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 21/11/2011
First Published: 21/11/2011

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The price at which properties are being put up for sale tumbled in November as the confidence of sellers was hit by economic uncertainty.

According to Rightmove, the problems in the Eurozone appeared to spook sellers, sending the average property asking price diving by 3.1% compared with October.

The resultant average asking price of £232,144 is some £7,500 lower than a month earlier, and represents the largest monthly fall since December 2007.

At the same time, a 13% drop in the number of new sellers coming to the market seems to suggest that prospective home movers are deciding to sit tight amidst the uncertainty.

Almost three-quarters (70%) of home-movers are of the opinion that it is currently a 'bad time to sell', although this is could turn out to be good news for some.

Indeed, the air of seller resignation only strengthens the negotiating power of buyers who have the means to proceed with a purchase.

Meanwhile, buy-to-let investors keen to make the most of the environment of rising rents and growing numbers of competitive buy-to-let mortgages are also likely to sense an opportunity for a bargain.

For those desperate to sell, the property website warns they might have to prepare for a long period of subdued buyer activity, particularly as the traditional seasonal slump in activity appears to have arrived early this year.

"Markets dislike uncertainty, and so do people who are deciding whether or not to enter the property market," said Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove.

"Agents report that many would-be sellers are postponing their marketing until the new year, influenced by the current wall-to-wall media coverage of the Greeks and Italians attempting to get their own far-flung houses in order.

"It's no great surprise that those who have braved the stormy conditions have had to accept a substantial 'haircut' on their asking prices."

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