The asking price for homes in the UK have shown their biggest fall in six years, Rightmove reports.
The figures highlight that asking prices in December are nearly £10,000 lower than they were in October which is the biggest fall over a two-month period since 2012.
It’s the latest indication that the housing market in the UK is slowing down ahead of Brexit.
The index published by Rightmove highlights that the asking price for new sellers was down by 1.5% in the four weeks to 8 December.
That’s a fall of 1.7% over the previous month.
On an annual basis, Rightmove says that prices across the UK grew by 0.7% – but they have fallen by 1.1% in London which has pulled the national average down.
Asking Prices Were Increasing By Around 7% Every Year
The index highlights that asking prices were increasing by around 7% every year before June 2016’s Brexit referendum.
Miles Shipside, a director at Rightmove, said that sellers usually priced their property at a lower level in the weeks before Christmas in a bid to attract buyers.
He added: “However, the falls are larger than usual and make this the largest drop over two months for six years. It shows there are more than just seasonal forces at play.”
However, Rightmove also says that the lower prices are tempting buyers into the market and there has only been a relatively small drop in the number of sales for this time of year.
Despite this, it appears as though the UK’s property market is heading for its worst annual performance in nearly 10 years.
The figures highlight that the average asking price between October and December fell by £9,719, or a combined 3.2%, to reach £297,527.
In 2012, asking prices fell over the same period by £11,836.
Weak Spots In The Property Market
The weak spots in the property market are found in the south-east of England and London, traditionally property hotspots, where houses have seen the largest annual falls for asking prices.
In 2017, UK asking prices grew by 1% and now Rightmove is predicting that 2019 will see ‘zero growth for UK house prices’.
This is, the firm says, against a background of Brexit uncertainty and stretched affordability for buyers.
Mr Shipside also highlighted that the northern regions are helping to keep the national house price figures in positive territory as the year comes to an end.
The best annual growth for the UK’s house prices was seen in Wales, with house prices growing by 6.2%, while price increases of between 4% and 5% were seen for homes in the East and West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.
Mr Shipside said: “We are forecasting that 2019 will have a similar pattern with northern regions still broadly outperforming those in the south and our prediction for the year is more muted, with the national overall average being flat at 0%.”