Today’s latest market snapshot from Rightmove shows the average price of property coming to market rising by just 0.2 per cent in the past month.
That’s hugely below any of the major measures of inflation, and substantially lower than the average of 1.2 per cent at this time of year.
“Agents are reporting that many sellers have transitioned out of the frenzied multi-bid market mindset of recent years and understand the new need to tempt spring buyers with a competitive price” explains Tim Bannister of Rightmove.
“The current unexpectedly stable conditions may tempt more sellers to enter the market who had been considering a move in the last few years but had been put off by its frenetic pace. Buyers may have struggled to find a home that suited their needs in the stock-constrained market of recent years and will now find more choice available.
“However, those who have now decided to make a move should not wait around too long to make an enquiry if they see the right home for sale, as not only is the number of sales agreed now back to pre-pandemic levels, but homes are also on average selling twelve days more quickly than at this time in 2019.”
One of the dips in this market rollercoaster was the fallout from the mini-Budget towards the end of September, with sales agreed initially plunging by 21 per cent the following month as mortgage interest rates rapidly accelerated.
Further highlighting the recovery, monthly sales agreed volumes are now higher than in September for the first time since the mini-Budget took place. However, Rightmove says in its snapshot today that sales agreed are still 18 per cent behind last year’s exceptional market as we transition to a more normal level of sales activity.
Leading the recovery to pre-pandemic sales levels is the first-time-buyer sector - that’s two-bedroom and smaller properties - with sales volumes in this sector now four per cent higher than in March 2019. By contrast the sectors with larger homes, the second-stepper and top-of-the-ladder sectors, are still four and three per cent behind 2019 respectively.
First-time-buyer type properties have reached a new record price of £224,963 this month, which may appear surprising given the economic headwinds that have made taking out a mortgage more expensive and saving up for a deposit even more challenging.
However, solid buyer demand in this sector which is now 11 per cent higher than in the same period in 2019, illustrates the continued strong desire from would-be first-time buyers to own their own home. Rightmove says this is even more understandable given the fiercely competitive rental market.
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