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House prices haven’t dropped this much since the 2012 London Olympics!

Rightmove, the UK’s number one property portal and the UK’s largest property marketplace has found the price of property coming to market dropped by 1.5 percentage points in December, down a monetary value of -£4,496 on November’s average house price.

After a second consecutive monthly fall, average new seller asking prices now sit at 3.2 percentage points lower than two months ago, at a decrease of almost £10,000 and the biggest drop recorded by the website since 2012.

Whilst a price fall in the lead up to Christmas is normal, it’s the scale of the drop in house prices that suggests this is more than just the usual seasonal trend. Sellers tend to have to offer better than average discounts prior to Christmas as property buyer interest usually only increases after Christmas day.

However there is some concern that the continued uncertainty around Brexit will lead to a slower that normal start to the year that could extend well into Spring as the country faces possible Brexit delays. Whilst the general consensus is that the Bank of England’s worst case ‘stress testing’ scenario of a marked drop in house prices is unlikely, there is evidence that the pick up in house prices usually seen at the beginning of the year won’t be as strong in 2019.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said ‘with stretched affordability limiting some people’s ability to buy for the first time or trade up, a modest lowering of property prices combined with an increase in wage growth could help more of them to move and thus increase transaction numbers.’

Whilst this could be a positive outcome for the lower priced bands of property, Chawton Hill tends to focus it’s Building Survey service at the higher property bands where reports indicated the price gap between London & South East & the rest of the UK is narrowing. Uncertainty for any business is unwelcome and with the news over the weekend of a possible second referendum and much debate around whether it would be a simple Leave or Remain question as in 2016, or a combination of options, the 29th March may now not be such a definitive date!