Industry reaction to latest Rightmove House Price Index

The latest index shows that: –

  • Greatest excess of demand over supply over the past ten years, pushing up the average price of property coming to market by 0.8% (+£2,484) this month:
  • Number of potential buyers enquiring about each available property in the month is at a record, and is 34% higher than the same period a year ago, which was itself an active market before the first lockdown
  • With sales already agreed for almost two out of three properties on agents’ books, buyers eagerly await fresh choice coming to market, making this the best sellers’ market of the past ten years
  • Start of traditional spring selling period sees number of sales agreed for the first week in March up by 12% on prior year despite shortage of available stock
  • Daily average of over seven million visits to Rightmove in February, 40% up on February 2020
  • The tighter lending criteria put in place in 2014 will help to moderate the pace of price rises, but a sustained rise in fresh supply would also be a tempering factor

James Forrester, Managing Director of estate and letting agent, Barrows and Forrester, commented: “If you’re considering selling up, now is the time to get off the fence and get to work. Not only are buyers acting with intent, there doing so on the assumption they have more money to spend thanks to the safety net of a stamp duty holiday extension.

“Getting your house in order and an agent instructed now means you’ll be able to take advantage of these buoyant market conditions and not only will it reduce the time it takes you to find a buyer, but you’re in with a good chance of selling for a better price.”

Ben Taylor, CEO of national estate agent Keller Williams UK, commented: “Hold on to your hats folks, we’re now entering what is traditionally the busiest time of year for the UK property market and with the added boost of a stamp duty holiday extension, it’s likely to be a wild ride.

“We’re seeing for sale stock fly of the shelves at an incredibly fast rate at the moment and while demand continues to exceed supply, the only way is up where property values are concerned.”

Group CEO of Enness Global Mortgages, Islay Robinson, commented: “Competition for homes is high at present as buyers continue to enter the fray on mass. With so many buyers fighting it out for so little stock, it’s vital you ensure you are in a proceedable position before entering the ring.

“All too often, buyers look to secure their dream home without as much as a mortgage in principle, the result of which is often the crushing disappointment of realising they simply can’t secure the required level of finance.

“Although the market is extremely hot at present, many lenders are still wary of the ongoing impact of the pandemic and so they’ve tightened their buyer eligibility criteria considerably. The best possible start to your house hunt is to get an idea of what you can borrow, what you can afford to borrow and where this places you in the market in terms of property purchasing potential.”

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “Think of the current market landscape as an upside-down duck, moving frantically above water, with very little going on beneath.

“This is exactly what we’re currently seeing and while sellers may be accepting offers at an alarming speed, the decision to extend the stamp duty holiday is only adding to the long delays being seen at the back end of the transaction process, with little to no movement being made for months on end.

“Although the cliff edge has been delayed, it’s growing bigger by the day and so hopefully those trying to transact have packed their mountain climbing equipment, as they’ll need it come September.”