Over a third (34%) of property in January was sold within two weeks of being put on the market – twice as many properties in this timeframe compared to January 2013.
In addition, almost half (48%) of all property in January sold for, or in excess of, the asking price. This meant that, on average across all property sold, 99% of the asking price was being achieved – an increase from 98% during the past two years.
Commenting, Peter Rollings, CEO at Marsh & Parsons, said: “Now is the time to get a jackpot price on property thanks to a surge of potential buyers entering the market in the New Year. These extraordinary conditions have created a strong seller’s market and one of the best opportunities to sell property in recent years.
“But conditions like this won’t last. Many people believe that the best time to market property is during the busier months of the spring. But these sellers could be missing a trick – the increasing levels of property supply at that time of year will dissipate current levels of demand, and bring about a return to more normal market conditions in the spring.”
In January, there were 23 registered buyers competing for each available property on Marsh & Parsons’ books. This was the highest level since 2010, and represented a dramatic increase from the ratio of 14 registered buyers per property in January 2013.
Compared to the same point last year, 19% more buyers entered the market in competition for 28% fewer properties – making this a strong seller’s market.
But for the last four years, an average of 10% more property has become available between the months of January and April. This percentage jumped considerably between 2012 and 2013 as the property market recovered, and if this trend continues, 18% more property could hit the market by spring 2014.
Rollings said: “Last year the biggest price increases were to be found in the Outer Prime London ‘villages’. These areas are all popular with UK buyers and are favoured for their community feel and local atmospheres. Slightly lower property prices in these areas also attract those who may have been priced out of more central areas.
“But early indications in January point to a turnaround. While parts of Outer Prime London sped ahead in 2013, our data suggests that Prime Central areas are due for a growth spurt in 2014. This was beginning to happen in the third quarter of last year and looks set to surge forward later this year.”