Another week begins, another record tumbles – Rightmove this morning reports a monthly price surge of 2.1 per cent has propelled asking prices to a record high. The national average now stands at £327,797. This figure shatters the previous record, set in October, by over £4,000. The jump comes as buyer demand sets another new record, chasing the lowest ever proportion of property available to buy. This is now the fastest-selling market that Rightmove has measured since its records began.
The portal’s property data director Tim Bannister reports: “This is only the second time over the past five years that prices have increased by over two per cent in a month, so it’s a big jump, especially bearing in mind that the lockdown restrictions are still limiting the population’s movements and activities.
“The property market has remained fully open, and is fully active to such an extent that frenzied buyer activity has helped to push the average price of property coming to market to an all-time high. The stars have aligned for this spring price surge, with buyers’ new space requirements being part of the constellation alongside cheap mortgages, stamp duty holiday extensions in England and Wales, government support for 95 per cent mortgages and a shortage of suitable property to buy.
“There’s also growing optimism due to the vaccination roll-out, which is helping drive the momentum for a fresh start in fresh surroundings. It does mean that this spring’s buyers are facing the highest ever property prices, though with properties selling faster in the first two weeks of April than ever previously recorded by Rightmove at an average of just 45 days to be marked by the agent as sold, it seems that those buyers are not deterred.
“Almost one in four properties that had a sale agreed in March had been on the market for less than a week, which is also the highest rate that we’ve ever recorded. If you’re looking to buy in the current frenetic market then you need to be on your toes and ready to move more quickly than ever before.”
Two- and three-bedroom semi-detached houses are being snapped up quickest, with 30 per cent of those marked as sold by agents having been on the market under a week. This suggests that the surge in activity is now being driven by the mass market where few buyers will be achieving the maximum stamp duty savings. Momentum is being partly driven by the lack of property over the last few months, which has reduced available stock levels.
Rightmove says: “We can’t compare with the same period a year ago in 2020 when the housing market was effectively suspended, but the number of properties coming to market in the last month is up by a modest three per cent on the same period in 2019. This means it has now recovered to normal levels, but it is still massively outpaced by buyer demand.
“In contrast the number of sales agreed is up by 55 per cent on the same period two years ago, and so the proportion of available property is at its lowest ever recorded by Rightmove.
“However some of the froth is likely to come off this spring surge later in the year as the challenging economic conditions come to the fore, some of the government support to individuals and businesses unwinds, and the stamp duty holidays finally end in England and Wales. Nevertheless we expect activity to remain robust for the rest of 2021.”
Source: Estate Agent Today
19th April 2021