Rightmove survey shows asking prices fell 1.6% in pre-Christmas dash to shift homes, but tentative recovery expected in early spring

Property asking prices fell in November for the first time in three months as sellers tried to shift houses ahead of the Christmas break, according to Rightmove.

The latest survey from the property website indicate prices fell by 1.6% between October and November to an average of £226,440.

Rightmove blamed the falls on the more urgent need to sell among vendors who market their houses just before Christmas and predicted further declines in December and January.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: “In all but the most buoyant of markets, home moving comes second to Christmas festivities. While the market has recovered from some dreadful lows, this month’s price fall proves that it doesn’t have the strength to buck seasonal trends.

“We expect three months of asking price falls before a tentative recovery in early spring, likely followed by pre-election jitters.”

The body added that property stocks remained low, with 30% fewer homes coming onto the market this month than the same point in 2007, and said mortgage availability had progressed at a “snail’s pace” over the year.

It added that the November dip showed the government’s extension of the stamp duty holiday was “almost irrelevant” as buyers were not rushing to purchase before it expires at the end of the year.