Property sales stock shortage ‘officially over’ says Rightmove

2023 is turning into a better-than-predicted year as sellers price more competitively and the market moves back towards more normal activity levels.

A cutout from the Righmove house price index showing changes in asking prices.

The pandemic-driven stock shortage appears to be officially over with the number of available homes for sale now just 1% behind this time in 2019, latest data from Rightmove declares today.

But while buyers across the UK are likely to see much more choice in their local area compared to a year ago Rightmove also stresses that the data is bases on averages – with some areas and sectors faring better than others.


The number of sales being agreed in the smallest homes sector is just 7% lower than 2019’s level, compared to the largest homes sector where agreed sales are 14% behind 2019.

Meanwhile average new seller asking prices dropped by 1.7% to £362,143 – the largest in five years – as Christmas approaches and are now just 3% below May’s peak as sellers start to price realistically.

Tim Bannister
Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science, Rightmove

Tim Bannister, Rightmove Director of Property Science, says: “We’d expect to see a drop in new seller asking prices in the last couple of months of the year.

“However, the larger than usual drop this month signals we are starting to see more new sellers heed their agents’ advice and come to market with more enticing prices to stand out from their over-optimistic competition.”

He adds: “The data indicates that there has been more to be positive about in 2023 than many thought there would be at this time last year.

The upcoming Autumn Statement will now set the tone heading into 2024, particularly if there are any major policy announcements. We hope that the government has considered the impact on the market of any new policies and that any measures introduced help as many movers as possible.

“An announcement as limited as a mortgage guarantee scheme renewal would be a missed opportunity to provide some support to movers, particularly first-time buyers.”


Ian Preston, Managing Director at Preston Baker in Yorkshire, says: “The market is resilient and more in favour of buyers compared to the past two years.

Ian Preston, Preston Baker
Ian Preston, Preston Baker

“Pricing right is the most important tool for potential sellers at the moment.

“We have seen several sellers try to test the market with an over-optimistic price to qualified buyers.

“However, the consequences of getting it wrong are pronounced, with the data showing that many sellers who don’t get the price right the first time end up wasting a huge amount of time and money.”


Matt Nicol, Managing Director at Nicol & Co. in Worcestershire, adds: “Buyers have much more choice than a year or two ago meaning if sellers price too optimistically buyers are going to look towards their more competitively priced neighbours.

Matt Nicol, Nicol & Co.
Matt Nicol, Nicol & Co.

“However, we are starting to see more pricing realism from sellers compared to a few months ago and activity levels are positive so far in November.

“There are certainly still buyers out there ready to take the leap if the price is right.

“Two consecutive Base Rate holds, much steadier fixed-rate mortgage deals on offer and a general feeling that rates may have now peaked are giving some assurance and confidence to buyers.”

Chart showing average stock levels from Rightmove November House Price Index

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