A GROWING number of homeowners are selling up in a move that will trigger a sharp house price fall, a report has warned.
Asking prices have dropped for the first time in 2010 and are predicted to plunge even lower by the end of the year.
The report by property website Rightmove said asking prices fell by 0.6% this month, with the typical seller knocking off £1,435, the first drop since December.
The report blames the price fall on a rising tide of homeowners deciding to sell. More than 30,000 homes are flooding on to the market each week, almost 50% up on last July.
Rightmove, which advertises about 90% of all properties for sale, said mortgages were being “rationed”, which is further reducing the number of buyers.
Just 11,000 mortgages a week are being approved, a third of the number of properties coming onto the market.
Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: “Buyers have got the upper hand.
“With agents beginning to choke on a surfeit of new stock, sellers are going to have to price at bargain levels and bullishly promote their properties.”
Meanwhile, the number of unsold properties has been rising every month. In January, the average was 3 per estate agent, today it is 77, the highest figure in two years.
Since the start of the year, asking prices have risen by about 7% from an average of £221,463 to £236,332. But Mr Shipside said this gain will be “wiped out” by the end of the year.