Rightmove reports biggest fall in house prices since 2012

A 3.2 per cent fall in prices over the last two months has tempted some buyers

A 3.2 per cent fall in prices over the last two months has tempted some buyers - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

House hunters in search of a bargain may be wise to buy now, following the biggest fall in prices in six years.

According to the latest Rightmove House Price Index, new seller asking prices are now an average of 3.2 per cent (£9,719) down on October’s figures.

This is the biggest drop in prices over two consecutive months since 2012, when asking prices dropped by £11,836 over the same period.

However, the number of sales agreed only fell by 2.1 per cent on the same period a year ago, suggesting that the drop in prices is encouraging buyers to act.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst said: “It’s usual for new-to-the-market sellers to price lower in the run-up to Christmas to tempt distracted buyers, so we should not read too much into the mere fact of two consecutive monthly falls.

“However, these falls have been larger than usual, showing that there are more than just seasonal forces at play.”

Rightmove recorded a year-on-year fall of 0.7 per cent in selling prices in the East of England, which includes Herts, compared to a national average annual rate of increase of 0.7 per cent.

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Miles said: “Rightmove’s forecast for 2018 was that prices would rise by a subdued 1 per cent as lacklustre wage growth and tighter lending criteria could no longer support rising prices in some regions.

“We forecast that 2019 will see a similar pattern with the north still broadly out-performing the south, though our prediction for the year ahead is slightly more muted with the overall national average flat at 0 per cent.”

The Christmas period is a big one for Rightmove, with the number of pages viewed on the portal last year more than tripling (+228 per cent) between Christmas Day and the first working day of the New Year.

Miles added: “Home owners who are thinking of coming to the market early in 2019 should seriously consider doing so as soon as possible to get maximum exposure to the surge in interest from buyers who make it their resolution to move in the New Year.”