Rightmove: Price of property coming to market on the rise

Jessica Nangle

February 17, 2020

The price of property coming to market has risen by 0.8% this month according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

This increase of £2,589 is just £40 short of a new all-time high as momentum builds ahead of the spring market.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month.

“The average price of newly-marketed property is just £40 below its all-time high from June 2018, with the typically busy spring market still to come.

“This means that spring buyers are likely to be faced with the highest average asking prices ever seen in Britain.

“Buyers who had been hesitating and waiting for the greater political certainty following the election outcome may be paying a higher price, but they can now jump into the spring market with renewed confidence.

“After three and a half years of Brexit uncertainty, dither, and delay, many now seem to have the 2020 vision that this is the year to satisfy their pent-up housing needs.”

There has also reportedly been a boom in buyer activity which has outstripped the rise in the number of new sellers.

New seller numbers are finally starting to recover and is up by 2.1% this month compared to the same period last year, which is the first year-on-year increase for 13 months.

Shipside added: “It’s the first time for over a year that we have seen any sign of a return of seller confidence, albeit lagging behind the surge in numbers of early-bird buyers.

“Owners coming to market this spring face the best selling prospects for several years, with good demand for the right properties at the right prices.

“However, sellers should be careful not to get carried away with their pricing, as this is still a price-sensitive market with stretched buyer affordability.

“Those who over-price risk missing out on the window of increased activity that could run at least until we approach the next Brexit deadline at the end of the year.

“Now could be an excellent time to get on the market and sell, seizing the opportunity of achieving a quick sale at a decent price.”

Rightmove’s monthly traffic has risen by 7.2% to over 152 million visits in January.

The number of sales agreed is up by 12.3% year-on-year nationally and 26.4% in London.

Shipside concludes: “The fundamentals are sound, with lenders keen to lend at low fixed rates, real wages rising, and record high employment.

“The bounce in our statistics seems to show that many buyers and sellers see the election result as giving a window of stability, so if you’ve been holding back on account of Brexit, 2020 could well be your year to move.”

Tomer Aboody, director of MT Finance, added: “Rightmove is delivering some more good news about a property market which has been stagnant at best for the past three and a half years.

“The uncertainty around Brexit, coupled with three General Elections since 2016, has meant that buyers and sellers have long waited to see what happens on the political front.

“Now we have a majority government which has confirmed that Brexit will finally go ahead, which has sparked off a quick frenzy in the market from waiting buyers.

“The fact that asking prices are rising isn’t surprising, since there are still fewer sellers than buyers.

“If we look at the trend of when asking prices are at their highest, it tends to be those times when estate agents’ stock is at its lowest levels and demand outstrips supply.

“Next month’s Budget will be an interesting one with regards to possible changes to stamp duty.

“If the new Chancellor is brave enough to cut stamp duty, it will give the market a boost, encourage downsizers to sell up and persuade more buyers to take advantage of low mortgage rates and get on with a purchase.”

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