Rightmove have released their December house price index.

Their HPI shows that asking prices are 1.5% higher than this time last year at £225,766. But note that this analysis, whilst based on 90% of all the homes listed in the UK, refers to ASKING prices and not SOLD prices (news editors please take note!). There is of course a massive difference in the figure that someone aspires to achieve and the the price that they actually get. Particularly in a challenging, buyers’ market.

So do take the 1.5% ‘increase’ with a pinch of winter salt. Because it represents buyer ‘hope’ and not much else.

The statistic that is key within the report though is the monthly figure which shows that asking prices were a whopping 2.7% lower in December compared to November which itself was 3.1% less than October. A near 6% tumble in expectation.

The annual increase is entirely sabotaged therefore by, of late, a significant downward pressure on those aspirations of price. Indeed it’s evident therefore that at last, despite the optimistic valuations of local High Street agents desperate for instructions at any cost, sellers are now becoming more realistic about value in the face of the 1million plus properties in the UK that are languishing unsold.

More of this realism is needed by sellers until the average asking price matches the average national SOLD price of £175,000 (Halifax), which is some 22% lower.

But at least the ‘reality gap’ that we coined some months ago, is being narrowed.

2012 might not be so bad if the trend continues…

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