Asking prices of UK homes fall by most in five years – Rightmove

LONDON (Reuters) – Asking prices for homes in Britain have fallen at their fastest pace in five years for the time of year, property website Rightmove said on Monday, underscoring how rising borrowing costs have caused a housing market slowdown.

Average asking prices for homes fell by 1.7% between Oct. 8 and Nov. 4, a bigger fall than is typical for the pre-Christmas period, Rightmove said.

The Rightmove data is not seasonally adjusted.

“Buyers are still out there, but for many their affordability is much reduced due to higher mortgage rates,” Rightmove director Tim Bannister said.

Britain’s housing market boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic but lost much of its momentum as the Bank of England raised interest rates 14 times in a row between December 2021 and August this year. It paused its increases in September.

Rightmove said asking prices were 3% below May’s peak while agreed sales were 10% below their pre-pandemic level in 2019, a less severe fall than in the month to early October. There were signs that the shortage of homes for sale was easing with properties for sale only 1% behind their 2019 level, it said.

(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce)