THE boss of a city estate agency says sellers need not be scared of selling homes as the number of people looking to buy a house in and around York has fallen.

Matt Hendry, managing director of Naish Estate Agents, said that although the number of people looking to buy has fallen, those who are buying are 'serious and not time wasters' meaning completion figures remain buoyant.

His comments come as York-based housebuilder Persimmon yesterday reported a sharp fall in new home completions, with warnings of a “highly uncertain” property market in 2024.

But the company says trading and house completions are in line with expectations with prices broadly stable.

Persimmon say house completions in the third quarter fell 37 per cent to 1,439 from 2,270 a year prior. Private home completions were down 35 per cent to 1,234 from 1,894. The current forward sales position contracted 23 per cent to £1.62 billion from £2.09 billion.

The private selling price on completions was up two per cent year-on-year in the third quarter at £296,822.

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Mr Hendry said: "We are naturally seeing a decline in the number of buyers, however the buyers we see are serious buyers with less time wasters, once we have introduced them to Argyll Drummond Financial services we can be sure that they are properly informed of all costs and able to find them suitable mortgage options.

"In my opinion its likely we will see York property values continue to rise as interest rates slowly come down.

"Sellers need not be scared of selling in this market, however they do need to be realistic and be presented accurate information from their chosen agent otherwise it can be a long and arduous process to find a buyer."

Naish Estate Agents, is a residential sales and lettings business in High Petergate, and traces its trading roots as far back as 1939.

As The Press reported back in August, James Naish, who took over the business from his late father Nigel in 2005, has taken a step back from the agency to concentrate on other interests, but remains a minority shareholder, with Matt working as managing director.

Mr Hendry said: "Since then we have sold over 20 properties, by calculating what the properties achieved in comparison to what they were asking, Naish has achieved a collective 99.3 per cent of asking price.

"This suggests that if the property is proactively marketed, and valued correctly using proper methods, even with high interest rates, York properties are holding firm."

With interest rates on new mortgages still remaining high, the Halifax has reported a £3,000 jump in average house prices- the first monthly increase since March- for October, increasing by 1.1 per cent to £281,974 compared with a 0.3 per cent fall in September.

It credited the increase on a low supply of new homes, adding prices were still 3 per cent down on October 2022 and no overall growth is expected until 2025.