Homeowners in London are leading the UK’s biggest-ever property summer sale by offering record price cuts, an analysis shows.
Across the UK as a whole, the average asking price for homes in August fell by 2.3%, or £7,218, from July.
In London, the decline was even greater at 3.1%, according to property portal Rightmove.
Although it is common for sellers to cut their asking prices over the summer, this year’s August drop is the steepest since Rightmove started publishing data in 2001.
“Sellers who come to the market in the peak holiday season often have a pressing need to sell and price down accordingly,” said Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove. He added that deeper cuts were needed this year “to tempt warier buyers”.
Shipside cited lacklustre wage growth and tighter lending criteria as reasons for the late summer price cuts.
The rate of wage growth slowed to a nine-month low in the three months through June, though the Bank of England expects this to pick up soon.
Average UK asking prices increased 1.1% from a year earlier to £301,973, down from rates as high as 8% two years ago. In London, prices slipped by 1.2% to £609,205.
It is good news for first-time buyers in the capital, as the cost of one- and two-bedroom flats has fallen to the lowest level since July 2015.
However, first-time buyer prices are still around 2.5 times more expensive than the national average.
Rightmove warned that sellers who want to move into their new homes by Christmas should act now. The average time from agreeing a sale to moving in is 13 weeks. For new-to-the-market sellers, finding a buyer adds an average of eight weeks to the process.