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BIGGEST EVER MONTHLY JUMP IN HOUSE PRICES

Biggest ever monthly price jump sets new record high as movers fear missing out… 

  • Price of property coming to market rises by 2.3% this month (+£7,785) to a record of £348,804, the biggest monthly jump in pounds recorded by Rightmove in more than twenty years:
  • Prices are now 9.5% higher than a year ago, the highest annual rate of growth since September 2014
  • There are signs that both buyers and sellers fear missing out in the current competitive market:
  • More potential buyers are sending enquiries to agents, with the number 16% higher than this time last year
  • New property listings are up 11% compared to the same period last year, suggesting more sellers are coming to market before looking for a property to purchase, to avoid missing out on their next home
  • The number of people requesting a home valuation from an estate agent was up 11% in January compared to last year
  • London records biggest annual jump in number of buyers sending enquiries of any region, and highest annual rate of price growth since 2016, as the end of pandemic restrictions and a return to the office fuel renewed demand in the capital

Overview

February picks up where January left off, as the second month of the year proves to be even stronger than the first.

New seller asking prices hit a new record high of £348,804 this month, rising by 2.3% (+£7,785). February normally sees a rise in asking prices from January, but this is the biggest monthly jump in cash terms recorded by Rightmove in more than twenty years of reporting, and the annual rate of asking price growth (+9.5%) is the highest recorded since September 2014.

This new record means that average asking prices have now risen by nearly £40,000 in the two years since the pandemic started, compared to just over £9,000 in the previous two years. The pandemic continues to influence many home moves, with this month’s price growth driven primarily by the “second stepper” sector – those who may find themselves in need of more space and are now ready to move on from their first homes.

As the final pandemic restrictions now look to be ending and returning to the office is encouraged or required by many businesses, London has recorded the biggest jump in the number of buyers sending enquiries of any region (+24%), a new price record, and its highest annual rate of price growth since 2016.

A fear of missing out in the current competitive market is fuelling rising activity from both buyers and sellers. In a market that is still very short of available stock, more potential buyers are sending enquiries to agents compared to this time last year to try to beat the crowd, with the result being that buyer demand is 16% higher than at this time in 2021.

While there is still a mismatch between buyer demand and the supply of available homes, the early signs of a better-balanced market that we reported at the end of 2021 are now starting to come to fruition. The number of new sellers listing their homes for sale is up by 11% compared to this time last year, providing some much-needed fresh property choice, and January saw a rise of 11% in the number of people requesting a home valuation from an estate agent.

These sellers who are taking action now, many of whom are also buyers, are putting themselves in the best possible position to secure their next property.

Agents are reporting many cases of movers who have missed out on their dream home because they did not already have their current home on the market or sold (subject to contract), and were pipped to the post by a competing buyer in a better position to proceed with the purchase.

The timing of this increased activity is ideal for both current and would-be sellers, as data from Rightmove shows that March is historically the strongest time to sell, with the highest number of buyer enquiries per property for sale. This means that competition between buyers is generally at its strongest in March, providing an opportunity for would-be sellers to have the best chance of selling their home quickly for a good price.

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