Asking prices fell by 2.2%, or £5000 in August, says the latest report from Rightmove, as vendors re-price their property for a sale. This mirrors the fall last August of 2.3%, says the property website, and fits with the season rather than making up further evidence for further falls this year, which has so far recorded rises in five out of seven months.

The main barrier to further rises is restricted lack of funds, the report points out. Miles Shipside from Rightmove said: ‘After several months of activity and prices revving upwards from last winter’s low point, both will start to hit the limiter without more mortgage finance.

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‘In spite of pent-up demand, the market pricing is boxed in by restrictive lending criteria put in place to ration mortgages given the lack of funds available to lenders.’

New seller numbers are also still very depressed, 23% lower than they were last August, and, on average down by 48% over the past two years; Shipside said we may never see pre-credit crunch numbers of sellers again: ‘It is highly likely that the historic norm of new sellers coming to market is consigned to the history books. Even with a return of equity, employment and wholesale mortgage funding, these levels of sellers may never be seen again.’

* Country Houses for sale