Rightmove: House prices up as sales numbers recover

Ryan Fowler

June 15, 2020

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The average asking price for property coming to market in England increased on a monthly basis by an average of 1.9% (£6,266) in April, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

The number of sales agreed recovered, following a 94% drop in March, to be down by just 3% in April when compared to a year ago.

The property portal revealed that some 40,000 new sales were agreed since market re-opened on 13 May. Buyers were agreeing to pay 97.7% of the asking price on average, an improvement from 96.6% for sales completed in February.

Overall the number of people phoning and emailing estate agents hits new daily record, 40% above the level seen in early March.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “The latest figures from Rightmove will make uneasy reading for those who have been insistent on talking the market down over the last few months.

“Of course, it will take some time before we see market health completely return to pre-lockdown levels however, early indicators clearly show a sustained appetite on both the side of buyers and sellers.

“A huge uplift in stock entering the market and an increase in the average asking price demonstrates there has been little to no dent in seller confidence.

“When you couple this with the fact that buyers are now paying a larger percentage of asking price than previously, it’s clear that any suggestion of a market crash couldn’t be further from the reality we’re seeing on the ground.”

James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, added: “We’re slap bang in the middle of what is traditionally the busiest time of year, but this period of heightened activity has understandably been delayed due to the industry-wide lockdown of previous months.

“This pandemic induced paralysis inevitably led to a drastic decline in new stock, prices and transactions. That said, the only lasting impact seems to have been a huge build up of demand and this tightly coiled spring is unwinding at rapid speed now the market is back open for business.

“We will see this sharp uplift level out as normality returns but this initial burst along with the increased level of asking price achieved demonstrates strong market confidence and bodes very well for the rest of the year.”

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