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New instructions dip 8% – but unsold stock grows as sales agreed also fall

New instructions dip 8% – but unsold stock grows as sales agreed also fall

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The amount of unshifted stock at estate agents has grown.

Despite plummeting new instructions, dipping sales mean that agents have the highest amount of unsold stock on their hands for four years.

The average branch has 53.3 properties, the highest since July 2015 when the average was 54.

According to Rightmove’s report this morning, sales agreed are down 4.6% compared with this time a year ago, while new listings have fallen 7.8% on last July.

Time to get a property under offer has also lengthened, to 62 days, the longest at this time of year since 2013.

The price of property coming to market has edged only very slightly downwards, just 0.2%, to average £308,692. All the same, it is the first monthly fall in asking prices for properties new to the market so far this year.

The price cuts were led by drops in the listing price of larger “top-of-the-ladder” homes, which fell by 1.1% on a monthly basis and 0.7% annually to £547,719.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “Growing numbers of properties on agents’ books, even though fewer properties are coming up for sale, are evidence of a more challenging market.”

He said buyers were in the driving seat – but could be looking “for too cheap a ride on the back of Brexit uncertainty”.

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said that there are indications that the “ripple of caution” that has been seen in London and the south is “spreading more widely into some of the markets further north”.