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Average property asking price stays close to record high in June

Average property asking price stays close to record high in June
Shekina Tuahene
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Shekina Tuahene

The average asking price of a property coming to market in June came to £375,100, just £21 lower than the record high seen in May, data from a property listing firm showed.

This month-on-month change in the average asking price followed usual seasonal trends, where prices in June stayed flat, according to the Rightmove index. 

Compared to a year ago, average asking prices are just 0.6% higher. 

Rightmove said its data showed activity in the market was “largely remaining stable” and holding on to the momentum seen so far this year. 

There was stronger growth in regions mostly in the North and where property prices were less expensive. According to Rightmove, five of the six cheapest regions reported record-high asking prices, while London and the East of England fell behind. 

Agreed sales stay stable 

Rightmove found there was a 6% rise in the number of sales agreed in the last four weeks, indicating that for the most part, people were continuing with plans despite the general election. 

Buyer demand also held up and was 5% higher than last year. 

However, new sellers seemed to be cautious, with just a 1% rise in numbers over the last two weeks. By contrast, the preceding two weeks saw a 6% jump in new sellers coming to market when compared to the same period in 2023. 

Rightmove suggested that the election was making sellers hesitant and said this was more obvious at the top end of the market, which covered four-bedroom detached houses and five-bedroom-plus properties. 

The number of new sellers in this part of the market fell by 3% year-on-year, compared to the 11% annual rise recorded in the previous two weeks. 

Tim Bannister, director of property science at Rightmove, said: “It’s always difficult to predict how homemovers will react to sudden uncertainty, but looking back through our data, we can see that during previous election campaigns, market activity has remained largely steady. This election has followed a similar pattern so far, and the responses from our poll of over 14,000 people also supports the data, with the vast majority of respondents saying they will carry on with their homemoving plans.

“However, some potential sellers appear to be watching and waiting rather than taking action, evidenced by a dip in the number of new sellers coming to market, particularly at the top end. This is understandable when many of these sellers have more flexibility over when they act, but overall, it appears to be business as usual for the mass market.” 

Slow completion times impacting sales activity 

Rightmove found that in the first four months of 2024, the number of agreed sales was 17% higher than 2023, outpacing the 12% rise in new sellers coming to market. It said pent-up demand was behind the rise in buyer and seller activity, despite the higher-rate environment.

Most of this activity was driven by people in the top end of the housing market, as there was now more available stock. 

Rightmove predicted there would be 1.1 million house sales this year, but said the time to complete after securing a buyer still posed a challenge. 

On average, it takes five months or 154 days from agreeing a sale to completion, its data found.

Bannister added: “We expect that the improved market activity levels and conditions this year will result in higher transaction numbers at the end of 2024 than last year. However, the extremely lengthy legal completion process is a frustrating barrier to homemovers converting agreed sales into completed transactions more quickly.”