Four in 10 London house sellers are cutting prices

A house decorated with flags in Chelsea London

Sellers knocked almost £2,400 ($3,100) off the average asking price of properties as they became more realistic about their valuation, a report released by the group said.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said the drop in asking prices across the country was a sign of initial over-optimism among sellers and a challenging market.

According to Rightmove, which claims to list 90 per cent of the houses being sold in the United Kingdom, 37 per cent of current sellers had dropped their asking price, with a typical 0.8 per cent or £2,392 price reduction.

Traditionally house sellers are often forced to cut asking prices in the pre-Christmas period but this year the nation appears to be holding a collective autumn sale, said the property website.

With more than four in 10 revising lower, the average price cut of 6.7 per cent reflects "initial over-optimism and a tougher market", Rightmove plc said in a report published Monday.

The only region in to see an increase in prices was Yorkshire and Humber, with a rise of 0.6% to £174,161.

'Given that the market has been price-sensitive for a while and a five year high proportion of sellers are cutting their prices, some sellers and their agents are over pricing. "These sellers may well be asking themselves if they could have saved some time and stress by pricing a lot more conservatively at the start". 'Starting too high and having to reduce the price can result in a property going stale on the market and possible further price reductions later, which no seller wants. Last week the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said the overall United Kingdom property market had stalled. Lucy Pendleton, co-founder of estate agent James Pendleton, said sellers need to be dropping by at least five per cent if they are looking to drive interest in their property.

"It's vital they don't discount their home in dribs and drabs".

According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, annual house prices went up 4.5% in the three months to October - up from 4% in September.

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: "The report released by Rightmove today provides analysis on asking prices, rather than completed transactions, therefore providing us with a snapshot of current market sentiment".

Nationwide reported that annual house prices rose 2.5% in October, although the squeeze on incomes is weighing on confidence.

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