The average asking price of properties put on the market fell 0.6% or £ 2,044 to £ 342,401 since October, marking the biggest monthly drop since January, according to figures from Rightmove.
However, annual price growth continued, with prices up 6.3% year-on-year, down slightly from October’s 6.5% figure.
Agents report that many homeowners are getting their homes ready to sell and put on the market in time to generate renewed interest from buyers looking for potential properties online during the holiday season.
The number of potential sellers requesting a valuation from a real estate agent through the Rightmove website was 14% higher in October than at the same time last year, a sign that momentum is building.
The number of people browsing properties on Rightmove during the post-Christmas holiday season has increased every year, with Boxing Day visits last year 54% higher than the year before.
Tim Bannister, Director of Real Estate Data at Rightmove, says: “Despite the booming real estate market and the resulting lack of choice of homes to sell for potential buyers, new sellers gave buyers an early Christmas gift in lowering their average asking prices by 0.6%.
“Sellers who come to the market so close to Christmas distractions often have a compelling reason to sell, so naturally, more attractive prices to attract the attention of potential buyers who might otherwise be busy.
“We expect this downward price trend to be relatively short-lived, although rushed sellers will continue to have to attract buyers through most of December as well.
“As soon as Christmas Day is over there is a boom in Boxing Day property searches, perhaps with time available during the holiday season and a determination to enjoy their next Christmas. in a new environment.
“It will probably drive up prices again and increase competition from other buyers.
“Some of these additional buyers will also be new sellers who refrained from putting their property on the market until this Boxing Day buyer boom, deeming it to be the right time to sell and move in 2022.”
Bannister said: “Sellers often wait until January to put their home on the market, but this year agents say more and more people are trying to get a head start on making 2022 their year for. relocate doing a lot of preparation before the New Year, including having their home ready to market over Christmas time.
“Some savvy sellers plan to have their picture taken before putting on their decorations, so their real estate ad doesn’t look dated January.
“Sellers can also agree with their agent on a date that visits can begin in January if they are worried about having time to tidy up after Christmas, which would give the agent time to build interest in the store. their house.
“Plus, if they are able to find a buyer for their home at the start of the new year and are looking to buy again, it puts them in a strong position to secure their next property.
“In today’s market, it’s a real advantage to be a ‘power buyer’ and have already sold your current home under contract when looking for a place to buy, giving you a head start when you are trying to buy another property, where there are other offers already on the table.
Thomas Morris Sales & Lettings Managing Director Simon Bradbury said: “With the holiday season quickly approaching, sellers considering entering the market may be tempted to postpone the start of the listing process. their home market until New Years.
“However, Boxing Day is historically the start of a busy period both with the arrival of new sellers to the market and a resurgence of potential buyers browsing properties.
“So if they wait until January to start the sales process, they may have missed out on a valuable time to attract buyers.
“Sellers would be wise to take this window of opportunity to begin the process of marketing their home now, by having their property appraised and speaking to a marketing activity agent.
“This in turn puts them at the front of the queue and in a more powerful position to proceed when they seek to secure their next home.”
Northfields Estate Agency Managing Director Richard Palfreeman said: “It is always pleasantly surprising how busy we are with serious buyers and investors looking to buy just before Christmas.
“People looking to move to a new home are often engrossed in the Christmas festivities and put their search on hold until the New Year, leaving those still looking before Christmas able to buy with less competition.
“We often see in November and December that there are sellers who are motivated to close a sale, and there are great deals to be had for buyers. “