To confound my critics (and possibly confuse my followers) the December BestAgent Asking Prices Index (from my own website, still in beta) shows “sold” volumes up 3% month on month in England, but both average and median “asking” price figures have risen.
More deals being agreed is good news for everyone.
But the rise in all the asking price averages (mean and median, sold and for sale) is, in my view, down to more sellers dropping prices at the higher end of the market to get deals done.
This concurs with Rightmove’s big monthly falls of around 5% in newly listed home asking prices at the “top of the ladder” in December.
Both Rightmove and BestAgent indices are asking prices, not sold prices.
But Rightmove only uses the initial listing price of newly listed homes (and excludes any price reductions).
The BestAgent index includes ALL homes listed For Sale or Under Offer (separated out so you can see the differences between what’s selling and what’s not) and includes all current listing prices including reductions.
It’s still in beta and probably unreliable. But these are raw, unmanipulated, non seasonally adjusted, non weighted actual averages of the whole market.
It’s my view that the average figures are rising due to the combination of fewer transactions at lower values, and more people downsizing from higher values.
Both of these phenomena would result in a rise in the average calculation. It doesn’t mean house prices are rising.