(Bloomberg) — Asking prices for U.K. homes slipped this month as owners sought to get sales agreed in time to benefit from a temporary tax cut.
Average advertised prices fell 0.5% from October to 322,025 pounds ($424,000), property website Rightmove said Monday. They are still up 6.3% from a year earlier, the biggest increase in over four years.
Activity in the market is booming as buyers and sellers look to get transactions completed before the end of a reduction in a levy on home purchases in the spring.
The property website estimates there are 650,000 sales in progress, 67% more than at the same time in 2019. More expensive southern regions are seeing the biggest surge.
The entire industry ground to a halt during the U.K.’s national lockdown earlier this year. New restrictions introduced this month stop short of stopping viewings and Rightmove now predicts annual price growth of 7% in 2020.
“Prices might have been expected to rise again this month, but instead we have a slight dip,” said Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data. That “could be a result of some new sellers pricing more realistically to have a better chance of agreeing a sale in time to benefit from the stamp duty savings.”
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