Rightmove’s latest index results – which deals in asking prices – says whilst it is traditional for the price of property coming to market to rise at this time of year, and this month’s rise of one per cent does follow that pattern, it’s the lowest seen in the portal’s October Index since 2010.
As a result the annual rate of increase drops to 0.9 per cent, the lowest annual rate since February 2012, which was the start of the price recovery that led to average new seller asking prices rising by over a third in less than seven years. Properties with two bedrooms or fewer are typically the target market of buy to let investors, and where they compete with aspiring first-time buyers. While there have been increases in the time to sell in all sectors, this sector has seen the largest increase, up from an average of 55 days to 58 days.
But that could be good news for first time buyers as landlords are buying far fewer properties therefore leaving a gap in the market for first-time buyers. Landlords were hit with a three per cent stamp duty surcharge on property purchases back in April 2016, while in contrast most first-time buyers were effectively awarded stamp-duty-free status in November 2017.
The fall in prices at the bottom of the market during what is a traditional busier time means that those keen to sell need to price accordingly, which gives an opportunity for those stamp-duty-free first-time buyers to negotiate harder.