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Sellers 'lowering house prices' as winter draws in

Sellers are lowering house prices in an attempt to attract buyers during the winter months, according to property website Rightmove.Adding to the evidence of a slowdown, a decline of 1.7 per cent in the price of property coming to market was reported during November.However, Rightmove stated that this is typical for this time of year as sellers try to undercut one another in an attempt to find a buyer.A fall in new seller asking prices has taken place in November in eight out of the last ten years, but the latest decline is the smallest for five years. The annual rate of increase has climbed to 8.5 per cent.According to Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, the latest data is evidence of a pause in the housing mini-boom rather than a long-term dip."Underlying demand remains strong but has been muted by higher prices stretching affordability at the same time as the ability to borrow more to fund those higher prices has been curtailed by tighter mortgage lending criteria," he continued."After an active year it's a sensible pause and, with the winter months approaching, sellers are hoping a cheaper asking price may spur those scarcer buyers into action."Average stock levels per estate agency branch are now at historically low levels, with an average of 60 properties for sale.Supply has also been limited by a slowdown in the volume of property coming to market, with new listings down one per cent on the same period last year and 15 per cent on last month.Rightmove recommends that prospective New Year sellers act now to beat the competition by coming to market early and catching the Christmas holiday traffic. Last year, the website recorded a surge in visits over the festive period. On Boxing Day, there were 1.3 million visits, rising to more than 2.2 million by the first working day of the year.  

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