Falling London asking prices pull down the nationwide average

Falling London asking prices pull down the nationwide average [Photo: iStock/johnkellerman]

The average asking price for property sales in the UK experienced its first fall at this time of year since 2013, new data shows, but September has also seen a rise in sales as a direct result.

According to findings from property portal Rightmove, the average asking price nationwide fell by some 1.2 per cent, or £3,660, this month. This is the first time in four years that it's dropped at all in September, with London at the forefront of this decline. 

In the capital, asking prices have fallen as the city continues to adapt and readjust to changing market conditions. In Kensington and Chelsea, asking prices fell by as much as 14.3 per cent month on month, while in Camden they are down by seven per cent compared to August. 

The extent of the drops in asking price in London can be seen clearly when it's excluded from overall data. The average fall without London across England and Wales is only 0.5 per cent, and although this is still heading in the wrong direction in the eyes of sellers, it paints a clearer picture of the market nationwide. 

The good news is that although those looking to sell are having to temper their expectations, the fact that asking prices have experienced a dip has encouraged more buyers to come to market. The average asking price now stands at £310,003, and this has helped to swell demand in all regions. 

Compared to last year, there are now 4.8 per cent more transactions for house sales taking place, showing that when the prices drop, the market experiences a surge in the number of buyers who find it more affordable. 

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: "With competition among lenders to lend, increasing wages and the lowest level of unemployment since 1975, buyers are still keen to buy if the property is worth the money and well presented. 

"If more sellers appreciate that sensible pricing is the best way forward, then this will help to maintain good levels of buyer activity despite the uncertain political outlook."