Published: 09/05/2022 By Dougal Trentham Partner, Head of Residential Agency Woolley & WallisMarket Update: May 2022
The housing market is very strong at the moment. The return of the base rate to 0.75% several weeks ago is another step closer to normality for the UK property market. The last time the rate was as high was in March 2020, before the pandemic triggered a prolonged stamp duty holiday, a supply squeeze and double-digit house price growth. It is premature to say prices will now slow down notably but an annual increase of 12.6% recorded by Nationwide in February doesn’t feel like it had a long shelf-life, particularly when you factor in the cost-of-living squeeze and the issues in Ukraine. For now, demand is resilient, supply is still short in many areas and competitive bidding means properties are frequently selling for over the asking price.
Indeed, Rightmove has published its House Price Index for April, revealing another record-busting month – and the quickest-selling month ever – pushing the average price of a house up by an astonishing £5,537, and £19,082 over the last three months.
This fastest-ever speed of sale means that 53% of properties that sell are now selling at or over their final advertised asking price, the highest percentage Rightmove has ever measured. Overall, its analysis shows that properties are achieving 98.9% of the final advertised asking price on average, which is also the highest percentage since Rightmove’s records began.
Dougal Trentham, Head of Residential Agency at Woolley & Wallis, commented:
“I am unpersuaded that house prices will fall but I believe there will be a slowdown in house price inflation. The high speed of the market and competition among buyers when making an onward move will be deterring some owners from putting their homes up for sale publicly. However, many will go on to sell their homes discretely ie allowing our agents to find the right buyer for 'off market' sales who can be a part of the vendors solution. One recent (successful) example of this involved a complex, three way house-swap!"
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