Those looking to sell their property are more likely to put their house on the market after Christmas, at a more realistic price than they might like, says a new report from Cluttons. Homeowners who have been sitting tight to see what the market is doing will have realised that prices are unlikely to pick up in the second half of the year, and therefore are gearing up to sell at a reduced prices.

It’s also worth noting that this property coming on in the next three months is likely to be of extremely high quality as over-geared financial workers find they can’t hold off from selling any longer.

‘We can expect an increase in properties coming onto the market at realistic prices – around 25% from the peak price of August 2007,’ said James Hyman, partner at Cluttons. ‘This will have the effect of bringing a return of competition among sellers – who prices lowest, wins.

‘While transaction levels will increase moderately in the first half of the year, we will not see a return to healthy activity levels for some considerable time. People will not longer be building equity quickly and moving on every two to five years, as they have done in the past,’ Mr Hyman added.