Country houses for sale

Rightmove: ‘Buyers Market Until 2006’

Despite signs that the market is recovering, vendors and agents are having to retain their ?summer sale? mentality, says Rightmove in its property analysis for August.

There is a high level of competition for those who are selling, and many agents are now not taking on properties unless they are going to be priced realistically, said the property website.

Signs are good, as the cut in interest rates means that buyers? confidence should be boosted, although vendors will have to wait until September, when the market traditionally picks up after the August lull, to see the real effect.

Miles Shipside, Commercial Director at Rightmove, said: ?It?s a tough message to vendors, but if an estate agent has already got similar or cheaper properties that are not selling, they are thinking ?why have more??.

?There is too much unsold property still available to expect anything other than a continuation of static asking prices this year. Although buyer demand appears to have picked up, property stocks are still at historically high levels. In most parts of the country it will therefore remain a strong buyers? market until at least the spring of 2006.?

In some ways, this is a healthy market, argue the economists at Rightmove, because it is finding a new level of sustainable pricing, and sellers are coming to terms with this.

?Estate agents now have more confidence in their pricing advice, as they have a lot more solid evidence than six to nine months ago, when sales were scarce. The clear punishment for asking too much is a sentence of extra time on the market,? added Mr Shipside.