UK house prices have jumped to another all-time high, rising more than 2% in the past month in the fastest-selling market since records began.
The Rightmove House Price Index also shows that the average price of a homecoming to market is now £327,797, an all-time national high. Despite this extraordinary price, homes are selling at the fastest pace ever recorded.
The bad news is that demand and supply are still struggling to find a sustainable balance. The 145,000 new homes that came to market this month is a significant number, but still nothing close to satisfying consumer desire.
Rightmove added: “This is now the fastest-selling market that Rightmove has measured since our records began.”
The most popular types of home are by far two and three-bedroom semi-detached properties, 30% of which are sold within a week of coming to market.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data says:
“This is only the second time over the past five years that prices have increased by over 2% in a month, so it’s a big jump, especially bearing in mind that the lockdown restrictions are still limiting the population’s movements and activities.
“The property market has remained fully open and is fully active to such an extent that frenzied buyer activity has helped to push the average price of property coming to market to an all-time high.
“The stars have aligned for this spring price surge, with buyers’ new space requirements being part of the constellation alongside cheap mortgages, stamp duty holiday extensions in England and Wales, government support for 95% mortgages and a shortage of suitable property to buy.
“There’s also growing optimism due to the vaccination roll-out, which is helping drive the momentum for a fresh start in fresh surroundings. It does mean that this spring’s buyers are facing the highest ever property prices, though with properties selling faster in the first two weeks of April than ever previously recorded by Rightmove at an average of just 45 days to be marked by the agent as sold, it seems that those buyers are not deterred. Almost one in four (23%) properties that had a sale agreed in March had been on the market for less than a week, which is also the highest rate that we’ve ever recorded.
“If you’re looking to buy in the current frenetic market then you need to be on your toes and ready to move more quickly than ever before.”
Is there any point in trying to buy a home right now?
All of these headlines about today’s housing market being the most expensive and fastest moving in recent history are creating the image of an impenetrable world. Is there even any point in trying to buy a home in these circumstances?
It’s a tricky question. If we were talking to owners who are looking to sell, it would be an easy answer – yes, sell your home right now because you’ll likely get a great price for it. But for buyers, it’s a hard time.
The biggest problem is competition. With so few houses coming to the market compared to the number of people wanting to buy them, even if you find a home you love and can afford, there is always the risk that someone will outbid you for the home – in other words, they’ll pay more than the asking price and swipe the home from under your nose.
That being said, we’re not trying to put you off buying, it’s an exciting market at the moment and its rapid speed means if you miss out on one home, another one will come along quickly. But you must get yourself as prepared as possible to pounce on the home you love as soon as you find it.
All in all, if you’re looking to buy a home in today’s market, you’re going to need to be alert and on the ball, or have an agent who is alert and on the ball. And when you find a home you love, jump on it, make your interest clear and get the ball rolling on a purchase. Remember, you’re not legally obliged to purchase the home until a long way down the purchasing timeline, so don’t procrastinate too much in the early days if it means being beaten to the punch.