According to property portal Rightmove, we are in the midst of record numbers of house hunters, record breaking house prices and one of the fastest-selling property markets since the Rightmove records began. The message was clear – move fast if you can.
Rightmove’s latest House Price Index revealed that the national average price of a property coming to market has hit an all-time high of £327,797, after a 2.1% (+£6,733) monthly jump which has beat the previous record in October last year, by over £4,000.
Despite 145,000 properties being made available for sale in March, it wasn’t enough to meet unprecedented buyer demand. Sales agreed rose by 55% compared to the same period two years ago, reducing the stock of properties that are available to buy to the lowest proportion Rightmove has ever recorded.
It is thought that the housing market will remain robust for the rest of the year with growing optimism due to the vaccine rollout, which is driving momentum for a fresh start after a prolonged period of re-evaluation of what we need from our homes – in particular the search for more space inside and out. In addition, the lack of property coming to market over the last few months has driven prices up.
If you are seeking a new home in this market, you will need to be prepared and ready to move with everything in place. Two- and three-bedroom semi-detached homes are in the highest demand with 30% of those being marketed on the market for less than a week. The spring surge means that it’s a good time to sell and to achieve a good asking price along with a quick sale.
Wednesday 7th April saw a record for Rightmove with over 9.3 million visits to the portal, with March seeing time spent on the site exceed two billion minutes for the first time ever.
Strict mortgage lending criteria is still a consideration, and the record low available stock proportion will make it difficult for buyers to find the right property. Being able to act quickly when the right one does come along is vital, so having both a mortgage agreed in principle and your own property already sold subject to contract will help to get you to the front of the queue if you’re looking to buy this spring.