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Nationwide sales dip

- But Wilsons buck the trend

Property supply and sales are sliding right across the country, Rightmove has just revealed. However, there is a distinct north/south divide.

Rightmove says that in the most difficult areas, agents must value new instructions at under the asking prices of similar properties on the market if they stand any chance of achieving a sale. Rightmove says there is “some hesitancy to engage in the market” in the southern part of the country – although buyer demand is still high in the north.

Average new asking prices are close to a record high, up 0.3% on a monthly basis at £309,348, with new all-time price highs in the east midlands, the north west, Wales, and Yorkshire & the Humber. However, the portal’s figures show that sales agreed have fallen 4.3% annually across the UK, while new seller supply is down an average of 5%. Declines were not as drastic in the north, but even here they fell 1.7%. It is a similar pattern with new listings. Supply is down 5% nationally, and by the most in the south-east and London at 6.1% and 17.5% respectively.

Rightmove’s analysis also shows that time to sell in May was 63 days, compared with 56 at the same time last year, while average stock per agent has increased from 50 in May 2018 to 52 last month.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “The national market faces a range of challenges, with overall average asking prices barely changed from last year, and activity levels slightly lower. “Some buyers are hesitant due to the long-drawn-out uncertainty of Brexit, and there is also a slight tightening of mortgage availability and stretched buyer affordability, especially when it comes to raising a deposit.”

He continued, “To sell in more difficult locations you have to under-cut the asking prices of similar properties, and preferably have a well-finished and expertly marketed home that will all combine to stir hesitant buyer interest.”

Interesting to us at Wilsons was the news that the largest falls in sales agreed were in the south-west at 7.9%. In contrast, we are pleased and somewhat relieved to report our agreed sales are around 5% up on last year, despite the uncertainty of the market. Our main challenge is our shortage of stock. If we have a properly priced and well presented property on our books, it is highly likely to sell quickly, so if you, or anyone you know is thinking of selling, please – CALL US FIRST!

By Chris Willey

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