The number of properties coming onto the market this month rose by 12.3% and by 1.9% on the year, estate agent haart has found.
In March, there were 12 buyers chasing every property across England and Wales. House prices across England and Wales fell by 0.6% on the month and by 5% on the year. The average house price now sits at £218,556. New buyer registrations rose by 23.2% on the month and by 7.8% annually.
Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, said: “Three years on from George Osborne introducing the 3% hike in stamp duty surcharges on second homes, landlords are beginning to come to terms with the additional costs and are cautiously entering the market again.
“Our branches saw a monthly uptick of 7.9% in the number of landlords registering to buy, a figure which has been continuing to grow since the start of 2019.
“Interestingly, sale prices to landlords are down by nearly 12% which may be spurring on this activity, these price decreases could be causing the available stock to fall within lower stamp duty thresholds, making the stamp duty levy a little easier to stomach.
“Despite this, landlords are not back in their hundreds, the number of registrations is still down 22% on the year. Whilst some brave souls are re-entering the market, the hammering buy to let investors received in terms of various tax changes is still fresh in many of their minds.
“Clearly investors are recognising the value that can still be found in buy-to-let property, especially in comparison to the overvalued and faltering stock market.
“Although the property market hinges on confidence, the FTSE 100, gold and cash are far more volatile to socioeconomic impact, so investors are increasingly returning to property where they deem their money safest, and where the yields are highest.
“The market as a whole continued to gain momentum in March as the pent-up demand from a delayed Brexit continued to drive transactions. Transactions are up 11% on the year whilst new buyer registrations boomed by 23%.”
The market has become less efficient this month, as the number of transactions has fallen by 2.9%, whilst the number of viewings has increased by 19.5%.
This indicates there is pent-up demand in the market. The average purchase price for first-time buyers has fallen by 2.5% on the month and by 2.2% on the year.
This comes as the number of first-time buyers registering has risen by 19.2% on the month, but fallen by 15.6% on the year. The average amount first-time buyers are paying for a deposit has risen by 0.8% but fallen by 5.7% on the year.
Clearly, first-time buyers are capitalising on low prices and are putting down larger deposits than needed to own more of their own homes this month.
The average property price in London has fallen by 0.8% on the month and by 2.5% on the year. The number of new buyers entering the market has risen by 22% on the month, and by 17% on the year.
The number of new instructions has risen by 7.5% on the month, but fallen by 18% on the year. Sale transactions decreased by 10% on the month and by 20% on the year.
The number of tenants entering the market across England and Wales has risen by 14% on the month and by 25% on the year.
The average rent is down 0.3% on the month, and by 4.2% on the year. The average rent now sits at £1,293 per month across England and Wales. Tenant demand in London has increased by 11.7% on the month, and by 52% on the year.
London rents are up 1.1% on the month and have risen by 4.2% on the year. The average rent now sits at £1,941 per month.