House prices have fallen by almost £10,000 in the past months and homes are taking longer to sell.
The asking price of an average £297,000 home has fallen by 3.2% in the past two months and is the biggest drop in price over two months in a row since 2012.
Agreed sales are also down 2.1% and sellers are taking an average 65 days to find a buyer willing to make an acceptable offer, a time that has steadily increased from 56 days in May, says data from online property portal Rightmove.
Asking prices have fallen in London (-1.1%), the South East (-0.9%), the North East (-0.8%) and the East of England (-0.7%).
House prices have improved by only 0.7% this year in a frustrating market for sellers after a 1% increase in 2017.
The property giant is predicting little will change in 2019 as the main issues holding the market back are unlikely to change.
The hurdles for buyers include continuing Brexit concerns and lack of savings to fund a deposit.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst said: “It’s usual for new-to-the-market sellers to price lower in the run-up to Christmas to tempt distracted buyers, so we should not read too much into the mere fact of two consecutive monthly falls.
“However, these falls have been larger than usual, making this the largest fall over two months for six years, showing that there are more than just seasonal forces at play. With stretched affordability limiting some people’s ability to buy for the first time or trade up, a modest lowering of property prices combined with an increase in wage growth could help more of them to move and thus increase transaction numbers.”
Shipside also warned money-conscious buyers that their chance of grabbing a bargain is disappearing.
“The window of maximum buyer negotiating opportunity starts to close from Boxing Day onwards, as more buyers become active in the market. From the low point on Christmas Day, the number of pages of property viewed on Rightmove last year more than tripled by the first working day of the New Year,” he said.