With website traffic at its highest ever levels, the latest data from Rightmove shows a 1.5% increase in property prices this month, the largest seen at this time of year since 2007.
Published by Warren Lewis on 19th March 2018 for www.propertyreporter.co.uk
The latest data and analysis from Rightmove has shown that a "substantial" 1.5% rise this month has pushed average house prices to record levels for both first-time-buyers and those moving up the property ladder.
According to Rightmove's analysis, the price surge has been caused by a strong demand from home movers recorded in January and February.
This, it says, has been exacerbated by a dip in the number of sellers coming to market, increasing the imbalance between demand and supply in some regions and market sectors.
The 1.5% increase is the largest seen at this time of year since 2007 and means new records have also been set in four out of eleven regions this month.
The average price of newly-marketed property has hit all-time highs in both the East and West Midlands, and also in Wales and the North West.
From a property type perspective, it has also hit new record highs in the lower and middle sectors of the market nationally. First-time-buyer properties (two bedrooms or fewer) have hit an average of £189,840, 0.5% higher than their previous high seen in June 2017.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, commented: “Many buyers entering the traditionally busy spring market this year face paying more than ever for their target property, and having a more limited choice.
The first two months of 2018 saw Rightmove traffic at its highest ever levels, and this demand appears to be now feeding through to fuel the substantial £4,503 jump in average new seller asking prices this month.
It remains to be seen if this month’s eleven-year price rise high for March is a catch-up anomaly after two more subdued price rise months, or an early sign of price pressure building up a real head of steam as we enter the spring market.Either way, sellers need to be mindful of increasingly stretched buyer affordability, and the more they increase prices the more buyers will hit their ceiling on the amount they are able to save for a deposit and borrow for a mortgage.
There does however still seem to be potential price headroom in parts of the country, especially in some of the regions in the north, and in the more mass-market sectors. However, sooner or later higher prices tend to mean fewer people can afford to move, and that is one of the factors keeping the annual rate of increase subdued at 2.1%.
As the market enters a period of seasonally higher demand, there is a heady mix of a busy time of year, pent-up demand, and shortage of suitable property supply in parts of the UK. Upwards price pressure is also being driven by savings in stamp duty for the vast majority of first-time buyers, keen to purchase before those savings are swallowed up by price rises.
Ironically a sense of urgency to buy is also present from the speculation that another interest rate rise from the Bank of England is on the cards soon. Buyers who apply for a mortgage before interest rates rise should be able to borrow more cheaply.”
The original article can be viewed here.