Asking prices continue to rise across Britain, as the market witnesses more people than ever wanting to find a home that suits their newfound lifestyle needs, over a year on from the first lockdown.
Rightmove’s most recent data, which tracks house prices and buyer demand levels, shows that the first six months of 2021 have been the busiest ever recorded by the online property website.
Average asking prices at an all time high
The enormous level of demand from buyers has now hoisted the national average asking price of homes to an all-time high of £338,447 – which is a jump of £21,389 (6.7%) since the start of 2021. Rightmove also noted that July’s monthly rise is the biggest monthly rise at this time of year since 2007.
Why do house prices keep rising?
So why do house prices continue to rise, and what is causing this? In short, this is because there are more people wanting to buy a new home than there are currently homes for sale.
Between January and June this year, there were, on average, 140,000 more agreed sales than in the same period in previous years. However, there were 85,000 fewer properties that were put on the market.
Because of this, there has been a massive shortage of 225,000 homes for sale. If there had been enough homes for sale to make up this shortfall, more people would have been able to move this year, which would in turn have stabilised price growth.
Is now a good time to sell a property?
Yes – it could be. For homeowners looking to sell at a good price, now could be a great time to put a property on the market, depending on your individual circumstances.
Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister says: “It’s still a great sellers’ market despite the end of the tax holiday in Scotland and Wales, and its scaling back in England and Northern Ireland – we’ve seen strong buyer demand leading to a much higher percentage of sellers finding a buyer for their home, and fewer unsold homes being withdrawn from the market.”
At the moment, large, detached homes with big outdoor spaces are highly sought after by buyers who are now able to work from home more often and commute less.
An imbalance between supply and demand in some areas of the country has put pressure on stock and allowed sellers to ask higher prices for their homes.
In addition to this, a survey conducted by Savills last year found that younger buyers are starting to look for homes with gardens, separate areas where they can work from home and high-speed internet. If you are thinking of selling this year, consider to what extent your property fits with what buyers are searching for, and consider any improvements you could make to make your home rise in value and attract greater interest.
Are you looking to buy?
If you’re looking to find a home with two bedrooms or fewer, the good news is that prices haven’t risen by as much in this sector, however the choice of properties is still more limited when compared to the same period in 2019.
Tim Bannister says this could be a relative buying opportunity for those looking to get onto the property ladder. “First-time buyers are currently benefiting from their sector having the most buyer-friendly conditions. Saving for a deposit is still very hard, but 5% is now an option, and with many paying rising rents, buying your own home on a lower deposit is becoming an opportunity again,” he says.
View Rightmove’s July House Price Index