Asking prices escalate as more homes come to market
According to the Rightmove house price index for September, this was £15 more than July’s record high.
Additionally, there were 14 per cent more new listings in the first week of the month compared to the first two weeks of August.
Tim Banister, director of property data at Rightmove, said it was still a “strong sellers’ market” and those who were hesitant to move while the market was busy were using the months before Christmas to get moving plans underway.
Banister also said the buyers in the strongest position would be first-time buyers or those who had already sold their properties.
“Agents are reporting that the most successful buyers are using tactics such as ‘sell before you buy’ to increase their buying power in this competitive market,” he added.
Despite Rightmove suggesting more homes were being listed in September, this was coming from a low base as the average stock per agent dipped to 49 in August according to the most recent available figures.
This was down from 50 in July and 55 in June. Annually, this was a decline from the average of 58 homes per agent in August last year.
Bannister said: “While the holiday-starved took their break over summer, the high ratio of buyer demand to properties for sale means that the property market remains stock-starved despite the summer lull lessening overall activity.
“Competition among potential buyers to secure their next home is now more than double what it was this time in 2019. To be in pole-position in the race for the best property you need to have greater buying power than the rest of the field.”
He added: “That traditionally would mean deeper pockets to outbid other buyers, but in the most competitive market ever, today’s ‘power buyers’ also need to have already found a buyer for their own property, or to have no need to sell at all.
“Agents report that buyers who have yet to sell are being out-muscled by buyers who have already sold subject to contract. Proof that you are mortgage-ready or can splash the cash without needing a mortgage will also help you to get the pick of the housing crop.”