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Asking prices rise as property market bounces back

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The price of homes coming to the market has increased 1.9% compared to pre-lockdown as the property sector bounces back to life, data has revealed.

Average asking prices now stand at £337,884, as record numbers of owners ask for valuations, according to listings site Rightmove.

The rise in values represents pent-up demand, with the number of sales agreed down by only 3% compared to the same period last year.

The number of people contacting estate agents has hit a new daily record, and Rightmove experienced its ten busiest ever days in May and June.

Demand has been fueled by many people unhappy with their existing home and looking for more space and a bigger garden, according to Rightmove.

Supply is also recovering but there are more than 175,000 sellers ‘missing’ from the market, the site estimated.

Analysis of completion data from Land Registry for February shows an average of 96.6% achieved of the last advertised price on Rightmove.

Offers accepted at record rates

The findings chime with separate data from estate agency Knight Frank that shows the ratio between asking and achieved prices is narrowing.

The group said offers are being accepted at record rates in the UK as traction returns to the market and downwards pressure on prices eases in the first month since the property market started to reopen.

The number of offers accepted outside the capital in the week to 6 June was the highest on record, and up by half compared to the five-year average. In London, the figure was 34% above the five-year average and the third highest weekly figure this year.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Following the initial shock of the early reopening of the housing market, England is getting moving again with a boom in traffic on Rightmove. There are no signs of panic selling or even a price dip.

“Some sellers who had agreed a sale before lockdown have been worrying that their buyer may try to re-negotiate with a reduced offer.

“On this evidence buyers may now be trying to exchange quickly, as there are signs of high pent-up demand and upwards price pressure, rather than downwards.

“Lenders may also have been concerned about price instability affecting the risk profile of their low-deposit mortgages, so hopefully this will give them more confidence to increase their range of first-time-buyer products.”

Damian Gray, head of Knight Frank’s Oxford office, added: “Enquiry activity has been extraordinary. I’ve never been contacted by so many people that want to live outside London.

“Vendors are generally listening to advice and a lot of the property being brought to market now is being priced more realistically. Buyers meanwhile are happy to pay the right amount and go for it.”