Property: Asking prices starting to fall as buyer demand slides

18th July 2011

The latest survey from property portal Rightmove also found that the average number of unsold houses on agents' books has reached a record average of 78.

These figures are despite the fact that house sellers are starting to lower prices in the stand-off with buyers. Rightmove figures for July show the first fall in asking prices this year with the average asking price dropping by 1.6% – or £3,797 – to £236,597 this month.

Sellers are facing increased pressure as buyers struggle to get a mortgage or prefer to stay put while they see what house prices do.

Meanwhile the number of new sellers is down 12% on July 2010, as many owners are unable to raise the deposit required to fund their next move.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: 'Summer sellers are more nervous about their selling prospects than the early birds who asked ever higher prices during the first six months of this year.

"Early sellers in 2011 had a chance of worming their way into the more active spring market, whereas those coming to market now at the onset of the holiday season have to price more aggressively as many buyers have already gone to ground. With seven out of ten properties marketed so far this year still on the market, sellers in the second half of 2011 need to do something different to promote their property and increase their chances of catching those elusive buyers".

However, the site warns that many home owners may not have sufficient equity in their homes to drop their prices any further and may be "trapped" in their current properties. Prices have fallen following the credit crunch and recession. Only around half the number of mortgages are approved than pre-credit crunch.

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