House sellers are being forced into more price reductions as the number of properties on the market continues to rise, figures showed today.
The average asking price in England and Wales fell by £367 during the four weeks to August 6, according to property website Rightmove.co.uk.
The group said about 118,000 new sellers cut their prices as estate agents had an average of 72 unsold properties on their books.
At the same time completed sales for the second quarter of the year fell to their lowest level since 1998.
But the reductions were less severe than during the previous four week period, when asking prices fell by one per cent, and the group added that there were signs that the market was improving.
It said the easing in house prices and the cut in interest rates, was helping to ease affordability constraints.
The average property in England and Wales now costs £196,282, just 2.1 per cent more than it did 12 months ago.
Confidence in the housing market remains static, a separate survey has confirmed.
Around 49 per cent of homeowners expected their property to increase in value over the coming 12 months, the same proportion as in April, and well down on the 62 per cent of people who forecast price rises in July last year.
The Woolwich said homeowners appeared to be waiting for something to shift in the housing market, but it remained to be seen whether the recent cut in interest rates would be enough to boost their confidence.
Andy Gray, head of mortgages at Woolwich, said: "It's the first cut in the base rate for two years, so this is our best chance to shake the housing market from its lethargy."