With Christmas on the horizon, house prices have experienced their largely monthly drop (-0.6%) since January 2021.
The drop brings the UK’s average house price to £342,401. Rightmove, whose house price index this data has come from, say the drop is a result of hopeful sellers looking to take advantage of ‘festively distracted buyers’, aka those who are desperate to move before Christmas. Rightmove also suggests that buyers can take advantage of this small lull in prices before the traditional post-Christmas buyer boom.
Post-Christmas is always a busy time for the housing market. Rightmove says that the number of Boxing Day browsers on the portal is going up every year, with the number being 54% higher in 2020 than it was in 2019.
Despite the monthly drop, November 2021’s average house price is still 6.3% higher than November 2020.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, said:
“Despite the soaring property market and consequent shortage of choice of homes for sale for prospective buyers, new sellers have given buyers an early Christmas present by dropping their average asking prices by 0.6%.
“Sellers who come to market this close to the distractions of Christmas often have a pressing reason to sell, so naturally price more attractively to grab the attention of prospective buyers who may be otherwise occupied. We expect this downward price trend to be relatively short-lived, though sellers who are in a hurry will continue to need to attract buyers for most of December as well.
“As soon as Christmas Day is out of the way, there’s a boom in people searching for property on Boxing Day, perhaps with time available during the holiday season and a resolve to enjoy their next Christmas in new surroundings. That is likely to push prices higher again, and increase the competition from other buyers.
“Some of those additional buyers will also be new sellers who have held back from launching their property to market until this Boxing Day buyer boom, judging it to be a good time to sell and to move in 2022.”
Simon Bradbury, Managing Director at Thomas Morris Sales & Lettings, said:
“With the holiday season coming up fast, sellers planning to enter the market might be tempted to put off beginning the process of putting their home on the market until the New Year. However, Boxing Day is historically the start of a busy period of both new sellers coming to market, and a resurgence of prospective buyers browsing properties. So, if they wait until January to begin the selling process, they may have missed out on a valuable period of time to attract buyers. Sellers would be wise to use this window of opportunity to begin the process of getting their home on the market now, by getting their property valued and speaking to an agent about marketing activity. This in turn puts them at the front of the queue, and in a more powerful position to proceed when looking to secure their next home.”
Richard Palfreeman, Managing Director at Northfields Estate Agency, said:
“It is always pleasantly surprising to see how busy we get with serious buyers and investors looking to buy just before Christmas. People looking to move to a new home often get caught up with Christmas festivities and pause their search to the New Year, leaving those who are still looking before Christmas able to purchase with less competition. We often find in November and December that there are vendors who are motivated to secure a sale, and there are some great bargains to be had for buyers.”