House prices edge down as clock ticks on Stamp Duty freeze
By Rob Freeman | 16th November 2020
UK house prices are edging away from record highs as time begins to run out to complete deals before the Stamp Duty holiday in March.
According to property website Rightmove, pent-up demand following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions and the introduction of the Stamp Duty freeze on purchases up to £500,000 had seen the average asking price reach just over £323,000.
But the company's latest monthly survey said prices had fallen more than £1,500 (0.5 per cent) in October.
Sales for properties priced £100-200,00 rose 16 per cent on this time last year while agreed deals from £400-500,000 - which bring the most benefits from the Stamp Duty holiday - were up 106 per cent.
The national average for homes finding a buyer fell to a record low of 49 days with estimated sales up 67 per cent on the same time last year.
In the South West, the average house price is at £321,665, down 1.9 cent on the previous month but up 6.4 per cent on the previous year.
And homes in the region took an average of 52 days to sell last month.
Rightmove property data expert Tim Bannister said: "Given the ongoing mini-boom, prices might have been expected to rise again this month, but instead we have a slight dip which could be a result of some new sellers pricing more realistically to have a better chance of agreeing a sale in time to benefit from the stamp duty savings on their onward purchase.
"We know from a recent Rightmove study that sellers are twice as likely to sell if they agree a sale based on the first price at which their property goes on the market, something that's even more important now as we move towards the end of March and the end of the Stamp Duty holiday.
"Our revised prediction of a seven per cent annual increase in prices in 2020 looks to be on track, since the annual rate has jumped to 6.3 per cent with a month to go."
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