Monday 09 May 2022
If you are looking to buy a property right now, or have just sold your home, then you are probably aware of how fast the spring housing market is moving. Homes are being snapped up by buyers faster than ever, and twice as quickly as they were in 2019 – the last “normal” year for the housing market due to the effects of the pandemic, according to Rightmove.
April was the third consecutive month in which Rightmove saw house prices hit a new record high, with the national asking price of a home reaching £360,101. The average in London was reported to be £667,110.
Tim Bannister commented, “Prices keep rising because there aren’t enough homes for sale to meet the huge demand from buyers. In addition, the high speed of the market and competition among buyers when making an onward move will be deterring some owners from putting their homes up for sale. This means that more than half of home-sellers are achieving their full asking price, or above, when accepting an offer.”
This kind of market can have its advantages, says Tim. Further adding, “If you can secure both a quick sale and a quick purchase, then it’s a lot less stressful than the uncertainties of a slower market, when finding a buyer for your own home can drag on for months, or not happen at all.”
Rightmove reported over 125,000 new sellers have taken advantage of the great sellers’ market this month, but more are needed in all areas and in all property sectors to meet high buyer demand.
Bannister says, “With three new monthly price records in a row, 2022 has started with price-rise momentum even greater than during the stamp-duty-holiday-fuelled market of last year.”
“However, we are starting to see signs that the pace of recent price growth is slowing down.”
What does this mean for people looking to buy?
Despite the high levels of competition, there are other things you can do to put yourself in a strong position as a buyer and make yourself an attractive option to sellers. These include getting a mortgage in principle if you’re a first-time buyer, or getting a sale agreed on your current property before you find your next home.
What can you expect for the 2022 housing market?
Demand is still strong despite the increase in homes coming to market this spring, so you can expect the imbalance between the number of people looking to move, and the number of properties available to buy, to continue.
While there are signs that the recent increase in asking prices is slowing down, Tim says it is unlikely to see sustained price falls, due to the high levels of demand from buyers. There are economic factors that buyers will examine when deciding whether or not they can move, such as rising costs of living and interest rate increases. This, along with a lack of available properties, will cause price increases to moderate in the second half of the year.
The slowdown in price growth supports Rightmove’s 2022 housing market forecast of average asking prices rising by 5% over the course of this year.