November has seen the smallest seasonal drop in new seller asking prices since 2011, setting the scene for higher prices in 2016.
New sellers have dropped their asking prices by just 1.3%, against an average drop of 1.9% over the last five years.
The research from Rightmove, published today, shows that homeowners have a confident property outlook for 2016.
Some 85% expect their financial situation to either get better or stay the same over the next year, unfazed by the risk of higher interest rates.
Seven in 10 think house prices will be more expensive in the next 12 months, despite an average increase of 6.2% in the past year, equivalent to £16,969.
Bank of England policy not to use interest rates as a tool to control the housing market, plus forecasts of real wage growth and low base rates, suggests those buying in 2016 will be paying a higher price, Rightmove said.
It advised bargain-hunting buyers to stay active in December and said New Year sellers should come to market early to take advantage of the surge of Christmas and Boxing Day window shopping for homes.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “Those looking to market their property as Christmas gets closer often have a greater sense of urgency to find a buyer and sensibly recognise that trimming their asking price will provide an incentive to potential buyers.
“Buoyant market conditions and a confident outlook for 2016 mean that the reduction, while no-doubt welcome to hard-pressed buyers, is the most Scrooge-like since 2011.
“It’s likely to be a short-lived respite as the combination of high confidence and low interest rates is a recipe for higher prices next year.”