Should homeowners be worried as house prices dip for first time in 2021?
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The average price tag on a home fell by just over £1,000 in August, but a Suffolk estate agent insisted this was no cause for alarm.
Across Britain, the average asking price in August was £337,371, down by 0.3% or £1,076 compared with July, Rightmove said.
It marked the first monthly fall in the average price of property coming to market so far in 2021 and was predominantly due to a cooling at the higher end of the market, the website added.
The fall was driven by bigger homes with at least four bedrooms, it said.
By contrast, activity remains strong in the “mass market” sector including homes with fewer bedrooms.
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Lower-priced homes are much less affected by the withdrawal of most stamp duty incentives, Rightmove added. A stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland was tapered from July.
Despite the monthly dip, the average asking price is still 5.6% higher than a year ago.
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Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “New sellers dropping their asking prices can ring economy alarm bells, especially when it’s the first time so far this year, so it’s important to dig underneath the headline figures."
Tim Dansie, director of estate agents Jackson Stops in Ipswich, said: "There is so little transaction going on the moment it's difficult to gauge.
"My view is that everybody who now can take a holiday is on holiday at the moment. And activity on the property market has dropped away because people have literally gone on holiday.
"The deals that we did two or three months ago, we're working through to exchange. But in terms of seeing more property coming into the market that has gone quiet as it normally does at this time of year."
Mr Dansie said he did not see prices continuing to drop in his sector of the market.
"There is so little supply, and there's still lots of buyers out there," he said. "The prices seem to be holding up for us anyway. It's a supply and demand thing."