People putting their houses on the market have dropped their initial price expectations by asking an average of £4,138 (-1.7%) less than sellers in the previous month. This is the first fall Rightmove has recorded in July since 2008.

Rightmove says that the onset of the quieter summer season often sees a softening of new sellers’ prices but nevertheless in July 2012 the feature was more noticeable than usual. Bad weather, the continuing credit crunch and the Olympics have probably all played a part.

Landlord insurance clients thinking about increasing their portfolios might like to take a look at the Rightmove website to get the full picture on the House Price Index. A good source of hard information is the Land Registry and Rightmove have looked at the Land Registry figures for sales completions and compared them with their own figures for new property listings. In the last twelve months the Land Registry recorded an average of 56,220 completions a month. Rightmove, which covers over 90% of the market recorded an average of 102,121 new property listings a month. Some of these new properties will be withdrawn from the market if they do not sell but it does suggest that there are something like two new sellers for every one successful buyer.

It all goes to show that sellers will have to try even harder than usual if they want to secure a sale and buyers with cash available will be able to drive some hard bargains.