Property asking prices pushed to record high – Rightmove

The average asking price for UK property coming to market has hit a new record high of £312,625 this month, according to data from the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

Rightmove revealed that March’s figure beat the previous record set in June 2018 by £3,186.

This month’s 1.0% rise – which equated to an increase of £3,226 – has pushed the average up to £312,625 which Rightmove indicated was an increase of 3.5% compared to a year ago. The Index also showed this was the highest annual rate of price growth since December 2016.

Rightmove added that properties were now selling at an average 6% faster nationally compared to the same time last year, with the average time to sell now 67.0 days – down from 71.4 days a year ago.

Rightmove director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside, commented: “The average asking prices of over 110,000 properties that have come to market this month are at a record high as we enter the traditionally busy spring moving season.

“As a result, we are measuring the highest annual rate of increase since December 2016. Many more properties are being bought and more quickly than at this time last year. This is further fuelling the existing shortage of property available for sale, driving up prices to a new record high.

“New supply to the market has failed to keep anything close to the pace of demand. Purchasers in a position to buy have been snapping up what’s currently on the market, rather than waiting for the usual post-Easter flurry of fresh supply.”

The Index also suggested that last week’s Budget mainly focused on the impact of the coronavirus, rather than on housing and major stamp duty reforms. Rightmove added that while any savings in stamp duty would have been “welcomed” by purchasers, the property expert’s latest statistics indicated the market fundamentals had remained “broadly sound”.

Rightmove also highlighted the Bank of England’s unexpected interest rate cut to 0.25% last week might also help to support the housing market if it “feeds through” into lower mortgage interest rates.

Shipside added: “The market has been waiting for several years for a window of certainty, and 2020 seemed set to be the year when many would look to make a move and satisfy their pent-up housing needs.

“However, the current fast pace of the housing market could now be temporarily affected by the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. We expect that housing market statistics, like other economic indicators, could be prone to volatility over the spring and summer.

“The market fundamentals are still very sound, hence the current surge in activity, which has included Rightmove’s five busiest days ever. There have been no signs so far of a drop in buyer activity or interest in the housing market.”

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