In the deepest part of winter, house prices tend to have an annual dip, as both buyers and sellers alike turn their attention towards the festive season with the knowledge that no sale could possibly be agreed upon in December and close before January.
In 2022, however, Rightmove’s House Price Index has reported a larger dip than is usually seen, with prices falling by over £7500.
Exactly what this all means depends on whether you are buying, selling, and exactly how quickly you need to do either.
Amidst an environment of economic uncertainty, many buyers have opted to wait until the market is more stable in the new year or have abandoned their house-hunting endeavours in the short term in favour of increasing their deposit and thus accessing better deals.
For buyers looking to buy now with a mortgage agreement in principle about to expire, it is certainly worth enquiring, as there will also be similarly motivated sellers who are keen to sell as soon as possible.
For sellers, there is a trade-off to be made. At the cost of lowering the asking price, they can capture a greater proportion of the captive market that is focused, capable and ready (if not outright desperate) to buy.
At the same time, much like buyers, many sellers are preferring to take the time to prepare for a serious selling campaign and ensure their home is ready for viewings and serious interest.
It is a complex and ever-shifting situation, so as with any property matter it is important to seek advice before making any major moves in a property market that could look very different in the next few months.
It may take until February, in fact, to see if this larger dip than usual is a natural correction in the market or a sign of a wider economic trend.