Monday 23 August 2021
The key headline of this months’ house price index from Rightmove reads: ‘Mass-market prices hit new record as upper end cools’
The data this month shows that there’s a real mix in prices between first-time buyer & second stepper properties vs the upper-end four-bedroom-plus properties.
First time buyer properties are up by £1,328 (+0.6%) in the month, and second-stepper properties, up by £975 (+0.3%) in the month. Whereas upper-end four-bedroom-plus are down by £4,699 (-0.8%) in the month, with buyers no longer making larger stamp duty savings.
This has meant that overall the national average has fallen £1,076 (-0.3%) this month, the first price drop recorded in 2021.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments:
“New sellers dropping their asking prices can ring economy alarm bells, especially when it’s the first time so far this year, so it’s important to dig underneath the headline figures.
Firstly, we are in the holiday season which means that sellers have traditionally tempted distracted buyers with lower prices, though that might well be less applicable this year with many buyers having to stay a lot closer to home. Indeed, our analysis shows that average prices have only fallen in the upper-end sector, which is usually more affected by seasonal factors such as the summer holidays and has also seen the greatest withdrawal of stamp duty incentives.
The mass-market of properties that cater for first-time buyers and second-steppers is still seeing high demand and upwards price pressure leading to new record high average prices in those sectors. In England there remains a smaller stamp duty saving of up to £2,500, though the window to take advantage of this saving by buying now and completing by the end of September is pretty much closed.”
Demand stats for the first week in August are up 56% on the same period in 2019, and down just 17% on frenzied post-lockdown 2020. With buyer demand remaining strong, an Autumn bounce in prices and seller activity is predicted likely to occur by Rightmove. This snapshot also shows that the number of sales agreed is up by 9% on the same period in 2019.
In addition, the average time for a newly listed property to be marked sold subject to contract is the quickest ever at 36 days, which is a whole month faster than in February 2020, which was the last month before the first lockdown.
Yorkshire & The Humber, the North-West, South-West & Wales all show a healthy monthly increase.
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