House prices have jumped 1.1% according to the latest house price index from Rightmove, but ‘top of the ladder’ homes are still seeing the effects of the market slowdown.
UK properties that have five bedrooms and detached four-bedroom houses are unlikely to sell before Christmas with an average time to find a buyer of 76 days.
The index said that houses mostly likely to sell are second-stepper properties, with average time to find a buyer of 60 days. This is followed by first-time-buyer type properties at 62 days.
Northern sellers more likely to find a buyer with sales agreed numbers down by a modest 3.0% on September 2016, compared to the South where sales are faring worse, down by 7.9%.
This north-south divide in UK house prices is not new, but a slower property market climate in recent times has seen the divide almost reversed with the more affordable areas seeing better price growth.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Sales agreed numbers are holding up better in the north, whilst a common factor throughout the country is the lower and middle market sectors being the most active. However, where property prices have far outstripped buyers’ wages, and consequently their affordability, sellers will either have to be more tempting with their asking prices or outscore other properties with extra desirable features.”
More sellers chasing fewer buyers
An average price rise of over £3,432 has been seen in the asking price of over 104,000 newly marketed properties compared to previous month. In a statement, Rightmove said that with more sellers chasing fewer buyers, this month’s new-to-market sellers will have to work harder to find a buyer before Christmas.
Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, added: “Of course, it goes without saying that those with a “top of the ladder” property will find it harder to sell as these properties take a bit more time whatever the market conditions. With the UK market showing positive signs of a recovery over the last few months it is unlikely the average UK seller will struggle as we approach one of the busiest periods in the UK property market calendar.
“I certainly don’t think there are more sellers chasing fewer buyers as the level of housing stock or lack thereof, continues to be the driving factor behind UK price growth. There are many pockets of the UK outside of the top-end market in London and the South East that are still seeing an imbalance between the level of buyer demand to houses available.”