Property prices up slightly in Yorkshire, but sellers must be realistic, warn agents
However, the national monthly increase of 0.5 per cent is the smallest average asking price increase at this time of year since 2008, and well below the historic norm in October of 1.4 per cent.
The number of sales agreed is also 17 per cent below this time last year, as sellers who struggle to adjust their price expectations to match current activity levels are finding their homes left on the shelf.
Rightmove revealed that the number of buyers enquiring for each available home for sale is eight per cent higher than in the more normal, pre-Covid, 2019 market.
Rightmove’s analysis of the mortgage market showed fixed rates have fallen for 11 consecutive weeks, with the average two-year fixed rate now below six per cent for the first time since June, and the average five-year fixed rate dropping from 6.08 per cent 11 weeks ago to 5.43 per cent now.
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has offices across West and North Yorkshire, said: “Accurate pricing is vitally important in the current market to generate immediate momentum when launching a property to market.
"There are buyers waiting for the right homes to come onto the market, but most will steer clear of anything overpriced.
“Although it’s tempting for sellers to price high initially on the off chance there’s a buyer waiting in the wings, and then reduce the price later when it doesn’t sell, this can be a risky strategy in the current market.”
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said: “New seller asking prices have seen a rise, as they usually do at this time of year.
"While this year’s much more subdued rise indicates that some new sellers are gradually heeding agents’ advice to price competitively, agents report that others still need to adjust their expectations on the price that they are likely to achieve in the current post-pandemic, lower-activity market, where six in ten homes are now selling rather than eight in ten.
“In a market that agents describe as the most price-sensitive ever, buyers are likely to be on the look-out for homes that they feel represent excellent value, and sellers need to price right first time.
"If similar nearby properties for sale appear overpriced, serious sellers have an opportunity to stand out from the crowd with a more competitive price and attract immediate buyer interest that our research shows significantly increases the likelihood of finding a buyer."
He continued: “Mortgage rates continue to trend in the right direction and have now dropped for 11 consecutive weeks, with buyer affordability gradually improving compared to this time a year ago.
"Those with a larger deposit have seen the biggest benefit from recent rate drops, with rates for those with a smaller deposit not dropping as quickly.
"The mortgage market is much more stable now compared to three months ago. Those looking to secure a new home should apply for a Mortgage in Principle to work out what they could afford, and listen to estate agents about what’s happening in their local housing market.”