Rightmove: Certainty and optimism returns to the market

The average price of property coming to market has risen by 2.3%.

Rightmove: Certainty and optimism returns to the market

Certainty and optimism have returned to the housing market since the election result, Rightmove has found.

There has been a 2.3% (£6,785) monthly surge in the average price of property coming to market, the highest rise since January 2015.

This has helped to push the annual rate of increase to 2.7%, the highest level since July 2017.

In the period from 13December to 15January immediately after the election, enquiries to estate agents were up by 15% compared to the same period a year ago.

This then led to a 7.4% increase in the number of sales agreed over the same period.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “These statistics seem to indicate that many buyers and sellers feel thatthe election result gives a window of stability.

“The housing market dislikes uncertainty, and the unsettled political outlook over the last three and a half years since the EU referendum caused some potential home movers to hesitate.

“There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand, which suggests we are in store for an active spring market.

“The early birds are on it, with over 1.3 million buyer enquiries to agents since the election, up 15% on the same period a year ago.

“Some buyers are even further ahead and have snapped up a property already, with the number of sales agreed up by 7.4% on this time last year.

“Whilst a substantial rise is the norm in January, buoyed by the start of a new year, this is the biggest new-year price surge that we have ever recorded.

“However, it is still a price-sensitive market, with stretched buyer affordability, so sellers should be careful not to get carried away with their pricing and miss out on this window of increased activity.

“One factor behind the upwards price pressure has been the shortage of property coming to market in many areas of the country, with some would-be sellers postponing their moves until they judge the outlook to be more certain.

“While there may well be more twists and turns to come in the Brexit saga, there is now an opportunity for sellers to get their property on the market for a spring move unaffected by Brexit deadlines.

“For those who can afford to move and have been putting it off, now would appear to be a good time to get a view from a local estate agent on their property’s value, and a mortgage quote for the great fixed-rate deals that are currently available.”

Nearly 65,000 properties were marketed between the 8December and the 11January, meaning most of them came to market after the 12December election.

Newly marketed properties with two bedrooms or fewer now have a national average asking price of £193,103.

Shipside added:“First-time-buyer activity has remained strong, buoyed by cheap interest rates and the high costs of renting.

“The downside of this high demand is upwards price pressure, with the average price of typical first-time-buyer property hitting a new record high.

“However, the annual rate of increase remains fairly modest at 1.6%, less than the rate of growth in average earnings, so affordability has actually improved a little for first-time buyers.”