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UK house prices fall in bid to attract buyers

UK house prices have fallen sharply over the past month as eager sellers try to tempt buyers before Christmas, according to Rightmove’s latest House Price Index. The report reveals homeowners have reduced average asking prices by £2,044 (0.6%) – the largest monthly drop since January.

Rightmove says this temporary softening of valuations aims to grab the attention of “festively distracted buyers”, despite the property market remaining buoyant. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “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.”

Bannister expects asking prices to start increasing from Boxing Day, which usually sees a boom in the number of people searching for properties. According to Rightmove’s data, the number of people browsing on the site during the festive period has been increasing with visits on Boxing Day last year being 54% up on 2019.

While the choice of property for sale is currently limited, the site suggests there will be sellers who are “keen to sell” and willing to negotiate on price. In addition, the number of people beginning the selling process by requesting a valuation from an estate agent via the Rightmove website was 14% higher in October than the same period in 2020.

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