HOUSE PRICES increased by 0.8 percent this month, leading to the strongest spring sellers’ market in the past 10 years as buyer demand skyrockets.
The average price of houses coming to the market has surged by £2,484 as buyer demand reaches record levels, according to Rightmove’s latest House Price Index. With more people spending time indoors during lockdown, it seems Britons are keen to upgrade their homes. The Government’s recent extension of the stamp duty holiday also seems to have spurred buyers into taking action.
The latest house price index suggests that the number of potential buyers enquiring about each available property in the month is at a record.
Demand is also 34 percent higher than it was during the same period a year ago.
Rightmove has also recorded a whopping average of seven million daily visits to its website in February, which is 40 percent higher than February 2020.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data said any concerns of a “cliff edge” have now disappeared largely due to the stamp duty (SDLT) holiday extension and because of the already high level of buyer demand sparked by lockdown.
He said demand will be further boosted in April thanks to the Government’s latest incentive which will see lenders be able to bring back five percent deposit mortgages.
Mr Bannister continued: “Whilst it is unfortunately not the perfect time to buy for some people who have been adversely affected by the pandemic, the record buyer demand measured by Rightmove indicates that now is the right time for many.
“Record low interest rates and the new focus on what your home needs to offer after several lockdowns have led us to the greatest excess of demand over supply in the last ten years.
“This strong sellers’ market is good news for those who are looking to put their home on the market as the traditional Easter selling season approaches.
“Blossoming buyer demand coinciding with blossoming gardens should put a spring in the steps of sellers, and more of them coming to market will provide a much-needed increase in the choice of property for the many who are looking to buy.”
Spring is traditionally a home-moving period, which could mean the UK property market may be on an upwards trajectory.
Louisa Fletcher, Property Expert for the Express commented on the latest Rightmove House Price Index.
She said: “The announcement of the extension to the Stamp Duty Holiday scheme in the recent Budget appears to have prompted even more buyers to start their search in the last ten days or so.
“As we started March, there was already a severe lack of properties available for sale, but now this will be exacerbated further as yet more would-be movers look for their next home.
“In many areas this is likely to mean asking prices continue to move upwards as sellers price aspirationally, both to realise the maximum amount from the property they are selling but also so that they can afford their onward purchase, which is likely to be attracting a premium due to the current seller’s market.
“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this is the start of a very busy six-month period for the UK housing market overall, with the re-introduction of Government-backed low deposit mortgages at the beginning of April, and the savings on Stamp Duty available until the end of September both further fuelling buyer demand.
“The key to price stability will be an increase of new sellers listing their homes; if we can arrive at a point where there is enough stock to go around, prices will remain stable.
“If not, I would suggest it’s realistic to expect further significant rises in asking prices in the coming months.”
James Forrester, Managing Director of estate and letting agent, Barrows and Forrester, said now is the time to put your property on the market with buyers assuming they have more money thanks to the SDLT holiday extension.
He added: “Getting your house in order and an agent instructed now means you’ll be able to take advantage of these buoyant market conditions and not only will it reduce the time it takes you to find a buyer, but you’re in with a good chance of selling for a better price.”
Ben Taylor, CEO of national estate agent Keller Williams UK, said the next few months are likely to be a “wild ride” as the UK enters the “busiest of the year for the UK property market”.
He said: “We’re seeing for sale stock fly off the shelves at an incredibly fast rate at the moment and while demand continues to exceed supply, the only way is up where property values are concerned.”
Meanwhile, Group CEO of Enness Global Mortgages, Islay Robinson, said competition is high for homes at the moment so it’s important to be prepared.
He said: “Competition for homes is high at present as buyers continue to enter the fray on mass.
“With so many buyers fighting it out for so little stock, it’s vital you ensure you are in a proceedable position before entering the ring.
“All too often, buyers look to secure their dream home without as much as a mortgage in principle, the result of which is often the crushing disappointment of realising they simply can’t secure the required level of finance.
“Although the market is extremely hot at present, many lenders are still wary of the ongoing impact of the pandemic and so they’ve tightened their buyer eligibility criteria considerably.
“The best possible start to your house hunt is to get an idea of what you can borrow, what you can afford to borrow and where this places you in the market in terms of property purchasing potential.”
Source: The Express