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‘Biggest mismatch between supply and demand’ sees house prices hit fresh high

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Asking prices have surged to a new high with demand from buyers double that of supply, according to analysis.

Values jumped by 1.7% in March to reach £354,564, data from property website Rightmove found.

The increase is the largest monthly rise seen at this time of year since 2004, pushing annual growth rates to 10.4%.

There are now more than twice as many buyers as sellers active in the market, which is the biggest mismatch between supply and demand ever recorded at this time of year by Rightmove.

The speed of the market is further demonstrated by the fact that are there more than one in five deals being agreed on the website within the first week of being marketed.

Rightmove said this is the strongest spring sellers’ market ever seen in several metrics.

For buyers looking for four or more bedrooms, asking prices increased by 3.8% month-on-month.

The website predicts values will come off the boil towards the second half of the year, thanks to “economic headwinds”.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “There’s a hat-trick of reasons for homeowners to follow the normal trend and make it their goal to sell this spring. Firstly, the potential to achieve a record price for their property.

“Secondly, the imbalance between high buyer demand compared to low available property supply is the greatest that we have ever seen for the start of a spring market, meaning that the chance of being able to pick and choose between several suitable buyers is strong.

“Thirdly, the proportion of properties finding a buyer within the first week is also at an all-time high for this time of year, so sellers with an appropriately priced and well-presented property can expect a shorter marketing period than the norm.”

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, added: “With another jump in asking prices, buyers are not risking hanging around in order to secure their new home, prepared to pay record prices due to lack of supply.

“Motivated buyers are taking advantage of current low mortgage rates before further, anticipated increases, are introduced.

“Sellers are cautious about not being able to find a home for themselves to buy, but some are taking the risk, selling at record prices with the view to waiting for the market to cool a little and renting in the meantime. They may hope that there will be less competition at this point, and therefore they will be able to buy at a lower price point.”