London leads way as house prices drop 2.3% in August

sking prices for houses have fallen by an average of 2.3 per cent in the past month.

In the latest sign of the slowdown in the property market, the average UK house was listed for sale at £301,973 in the month to August 11, down from £309,191 in July, according to figures from Rightmove.

The fall was led by London, where average asking prices fell by 3.1 per cent to £609,205, and the southeast, where prices dropped by 2.3 per cent to £402,562.

A combination of rising mortgage costs and subdued demand have been blamed for house prices rising at their slowest pace in almost five years, according to official figures released by the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry last week.

Rightmove is Britain’s largest property website, displaying about 90 per cent of all properties for sale in the country. The company sought to play down the month-on-month fall, calling it seasonal. Miles Shipside, its director, said that sellers who came to market in the height of the school holidays “often have a pressing need to sell” and “are offering ‘summer sale’ prices”.

However, the 2.3 per cent drop was steeper than that recorded a year earlier, when prices fell by 2.1 per cent, according to restated figures. Rightmove declared a drop of 0.9 per cent this time last year, but has since revised its methodology and figures to include data from Scotland.

The company said that the national average figures were weighed down by the “more subdued market in London and the commuter-belt region of the southeast”.

Mr Shipside added: “With lacklustre average wage growth, more buyers are bumping up against the tighter lending criteria brought in four years ago.”

Despite the month-on-month fall, asking prices were still higher than a year ago in every region except for London, where they fell by 1.2 per cent.

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