I’ve been trying to think why the gap between Rightmove asking prices and what the ONS tells us is the average sale price, swings around as it does.
Can the difference really be as much as 30%, up from nearer 20% 15 years ago?
The straightforward answer is no, despite some commentators out there trying to persuade you that it’s because people are negotiating.
Bear in mind these are against final asking prices too.
In the same way that simply dividing the number of buyers registered with agents by the number of properties available tells you how many buyers are “chasing” each property, simply averaging asking prices on Rightmove and using them to benchmark average selling prices is blunt at best.
This gap in average asking prices and actual selling prices takes no account of the fact that many properties marketed don’t sell (quite possibly as many as 50%) for whatever reason; that circa 10% are the speculative ones marketed in time honoured fashion by agents at a “I’ll sell if you get me that” price; and that many still doubt the efficacy of the ONS stats overall.
Recently the gap seems to have got wider.
This could be because competition amongst agents has forced asking prices up or perhaps online agents have been more prevalent in the stats and perhaps rely on owners’ expectations.
It could also be because Rightmove’s stats don’t take multiple agencies into account, so there’s quite a bit of double counting.
Whatever the reason, it’s yet another stat to be grasped and used to an interested party’s advantage when the actual basic facts remain irritatingly beyond proof, as usual.