Having measured 76,823 asking prices – around 90 percent of the U.K. market – for its monthly price survey, property website Rightmove found that the average asking price for a U.K. property was £258,424 in December, down from November's figure of £267,127.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside, said that while the latest monthly decline was a sign of a market continuing to cool, a fall is not unexpected in December.
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"Though sellers are fewer in number at this time of year, those that do come to market are often keener to sell so price lower in a bid to stand out. The overall picture for the year is still one of a much recovered property market, with sellers and their estate agents confident enough to be putting property on the market at a higher price on average than a year ago."
He added, however, that Rightmove predicted a slower pace of price growth in 2015 which meant that "sellers and agents will have to work harder to achieve a sale next year."
For close watchers of the U.K. property story, a fall in prices has long seemed inevitable given the relentless rise in house prices – particularly in the capital London – which has accompanied the country's economic recovery.
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This has been in no small part attributable to government schemes such as "Help to Buy" and shared ownerships programs designed to help buyers onto the property ladder.
As the U.K. heads into an election year in 2015, property has become a hot election topic and Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a new scheme on Monday offering young buyers a 20 percent discount on thousands of new homes to be built on so-called "brownfield" sites.
Despite schemes like this, there is an acute shortage of new properties coming onto the market in the U.K. which will continue to drive prices upwards, according to Rightmove which forecast that prices will rise between 4 and 5 percent in 2015.
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The South East of the U.K., a mostly affluent region given its proximity to London, will see the highest growth in prices next year as the "London ripple effect" continues, the online agent believed.
However, Rightmove said London will not be "the price rise powerhouse leading the rest of the country as it has been in 2014" with several factors -- such as a general election in May 2015, a tax on property sales and a shortage of property in popular areas - deterring both buyers and sellers.