How the booming housing market is impacting house prices, buyers and sellers
The UK’s largest online property listing portal, Rightmove, has spoken to an estate agent who claimed there is actually a lack of stock. Even though Rightmove saw 145,000 property listings in the month of April 2021, this has not been enough to appease increasing demand within the market.
With Rightmove recently seeing a staggering 9.3 million visits to its site in a single day, its not surprising to hear UK house prices are reaching record highs.
Rightmove have said they have seen more houses selling within the a week than ever previously recorded.
What are the drivers of this housing boom?
The property market is being driven by several factors.
The property market picked up rapidly after the UK’s first national lockdown, as peoples priorities changed over this period, with buyers looking for larger spaces, home offices and garden/outside areas. Then, on the 8th July 2020 the government announced the Stamp Duty Holiday till 31st March 2021, which really accelerated the market. This combined with the vaccine roll-out, 95% mortgages coming back and the SDLT Holiday extension the market is as heated as we’ve ever seen it.
Richard Freshwater, Director at Cheffins estate agents told Rightmove the number of properties available is low due to high demand.
He said: “This is the biggest lack of stock we’ve seen on the market for at least the past 20 years.
“Demand is huge, created by a perfect storm of low interest rates, the stamp duty holiday and changes in people’s working patterns.
“The dreary five-day-a-week commute for many is now over and this has led to areas outside of London becoming some of the most in-demand.”
What impact is the UK property boom having on buyers and sellers?
Mr Freshwater has said that there is so much stiff competition among buyers that they have resorted to “sealed bids”.
Rightmove said more than 25 percent of sales since February have ended in best and final offers.
He added: “A good example of this is a five-bedroom house in Great Shelford, just outside of Cambridge, which saw 27 viewings in just over a week and 12 offers. It eventually sold for well over the asking price.”
Property prices are at their highest-ever average
Average asking prices from sellers are now also at their highest-ever average. The national average price of a property coming to the market has risen by £6,733.
That means the average price of a property is now £327,797 – £4,000 higher than the previous record in October 2020.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert, said “This is only the second time over the past five years that prices have increased by over two percent 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.”