November fall comes after huge 1.8 spike in prices reported last month

House prices have fallen back by 0.6% in the last month, according to the latest figures from property portal Rightmove.

The drop is the first since August, in the immediate aftermath of the government withdrawing its stamp duty tax exemption for buyers of homes between £250k and £500k, and comes after a bumper 1.8% rise seen last month.

The drop, the largest fall since January this year, leaves average asking prices, at more than £342k, still up 6.3% on the same time in 2020.

The fall in prices appears to contradict strong price rises reflected in other market data, with the Nationwide and the Halifax reporting rise of between 0.7% and 0.9% for the month of October. However, it may simply reflect a return to a more normal rising trend, after the 1.8% spike in price the firm reported last month.

Rightmove said the drop was most pronounced in the higher price brackets, where recent rises have been steepest.

Regionally, the drop was most pronounced in Wales and the East Midlands, which both saw drops in average prices of more than 2% in the month. Rightmove said only one region – the East of England – saw prices rise.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data said the drop was most likely a reflection of seasonal effects, with those who come to market “this close to the distractions of Christmas” often having “a pressing reason to sell”, thereby forcing prices lower.

Despite the drop in prices, the average time taken to sell a home continued to fall this month, hitting a new low of just 36 days – around half the level it was in January this year – with the average number of homes on estate agents’ books also dropping.