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UK house asking prices increase 0.5% - what does this mean?

In great news for anyone thinking of buying a house soon, this October saw the smallest increase in seller asking prices since 2008

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 23 October 2023

5 min read

UK house asking prices increase 0.5% – what does this mean?

In great news for anyone thinking of buying a house anytime soon, this October saw the smallest increase in seller asking prices since 2008. This is according to Rightmove’s latest house price index which published facts and figures about changes to the UK housing market in October 2023. You might be able to grab a lower price for the property you’ve been looking for now, before asking prices begin to increase more quickly again.

Recent news also revealed that the number of property sales agreed in the UK is now 17% less than this time last year, which isn’t ideal news for those wanting to sell. It is likely this is due to persistent increases to the Bank of England interest rate this year and the ongoing cost of living crisis which has definitely knocked buyer confidence. It’s completely understandable to be a little wary at the moment, and those looking to sell may wish to hold off for the time being.

It can feel confusing to navigate the UK housing market, especially if this is your first time trying to get onto the property ladder or if you haven’t sold a property before. Here I’m explaining a little bit more about Rightmove’s findings and how this latest news could affect buyers and sellers across the UK.

QUICK SUMMARY – UK house asking prices increase 0.5% – what does this mean?

A house price index (HPI) is a report of statistics that are published regularly which reveal any changes in the value of properties in the UK. In October 2023, Rightmove’s HPI revealed that house asking prices had only increased by 0.5% – the smallest October increase since 2008.

  • Usually, house prices increase notably in October following the summer holidays. There has been a rise this year but it’s much lower than expected – which means buyers may be able to grab a bargain if they’re thinking of putting an offer in soon.
  • It’s important to try and price your house correctly immediately. Pricing too high can put off buyers and be a less attractive option even if your house has great value and features.
  • Buyers may wish to take advantage of this lower increase in asking prices in case they increase significantly again soon. If you’re not sure if now is a good time to buy or what your mortgage options are, you should speak to an experienced mortgage broker for proper advice.

Rightmove release a new house price index every month so both consumers and mortgage experts can get an idea of what’s going on in the UK property market. The thing is if you’re not a more a mortgage expert, you might find the full report a bit confusing. well let’s be honest you might just not want to spend the time reading a long report.

I’ve summed up all the main points from the latest report (October 2023), to make things quicker and simpler for you:

  • UK house asking prices rose in October 2023 by 0.5% which was the lowest increase Rightmove have published in an October report since October 2008.
  • The average increase in house prices normally reported for October is around 1.4% (based on figures over the last 20 years)
  • The number of homes being marked sold (Sold Subject to Contract) has dropped from 8 in 10 to 6 in 10. This equals a significant decrease in the number of properties being sold in the UK.
  • Tim Bannister (Rightmove Director of Property Science) states it is very important for buyers to price their property correctly to attract the right buyers. If your home appears overpriced, it’s much less likely to sell quickly.
  • Any property that is enquired about on the first day it is listed on Rightmove is 60% more likely to sell.

Are some UK sellers cutting house asking prices?

It was reported in September that UK sellers were dropping the asking prices for their homes at an alarming rate. In fact, it was the fastest rate that house prices had been cut in over a decade.

Over 36% of properties on the market had had their asking price cut at least once, which was the highest figure since 2011. the main reasoning behind this he’s believed to be the lower activity in housing market this year and particularly lower levels over the school summer holidays.

Are UK house prices falling on average?

What should I do if I want to sell my house?

Honestly, it’s hard to say what you should do if you’re thinking of selling your home or investment property. As with any year house prices have increased and decreased at varying rates depending on where in the UK you live.

There’s been minimal change in England with an average house selling at around £310,000, but prices in Wales have decreased slightly to an average of £217,000.

What should I do if I want to buy a house?

It’s really been a buyer’s market this year, with low house prices giving you the opportunity to snap up a bargain. You could get some particularly good deals in around March or April this year where house prices were at the lowest.

Though house asking prices have climbed slightly, the increase is not as high as in previous years. The 0.5% increase in October still indicates an increase, it’s just not as big an increase as expected based on previous years (prices generally rise in the months following the summer holidays).

If you see a house you like, now may be a good time to think about putting in an offer before prices increase at a higher rate.

I do fully understand why some buyers will be hesitant, as the UK mortgage market has felt very chaotic this year. Interest rates have climbed (although the Bank of England rate has now held steady at 5.25%). The mortgage market is finally starting to stabilise though, with there now being 2 year fixed rate mortgages available below 6% interest, which hadn’t been seen on the market since June.

Mortgage interest rates are also much lower now than this time last year. This makes complete sense as during this time last year we were in the fall out from Liz Truss’ disastrous autumn mini budget. This year, average mortgage interest rates are finally starting to trend downwards with fixed rate mortgages falling for an impressive 11 consecutive weeks.

if you’re not sure what your best option for a mortgage is, it’s worth speaking to an independent mortgage broker for proper advice.

More home and mortgage news

If you want to read more financial news affecting homes and mortgages in the UK, here’s a quick list of some of our recent articles.

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