Prices hit record high as properties sell at fastest pace ever recorded
This is now the fastest-selling market that Rightmove has measured since our records began!
Some key stats from the report:
- National average price of property coming to market hits a new all-time high of £327,797, following a 2.1% (+£6,733) monthly jump
- 145,000 properties were newly marketed this month, but not enough to meet buyer demand:
- Number of sales agreed up by 55% on same period two years ago, reducing the stock of properties that are available to buy to the lowest proportion ever recorded
- Buying frenzy for new stock, with both the average number of days to sell a property reaching its lowest ever level, and the number of houses selling within a week reaching its highest ever level
- Mass market of two- and three-bedroom semi-detached homes selling fastest
- March saw time spent on Rightmove surpass two billion minutes in one month for the first time
-Rightmove expects activity to remain robust for the rest of 2021.
A monthly price surge of 2.1% (+£6,733) has propelled new seller asking prices to a new record high, with the national average now standing at £327,797. This figure shatters the previous record, set in October last year, by over £4,000.
The big jump comes as buyer demand sets another new record, chasing the lowest ever proportion of property available to buy.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, said: “This is only the second time over the past five years that prices have increased by over 2% in a month, so it’s a big jump, especially bearing in mind that the lockdown restrictions are still limiting the population’s movements and activities.
"The property market has remained fully open, and is fully active to such an extent that frenzied buyer activity has helped to push the average price of property coming to market to an all-time high. The stars have aligned for this spring price surge, with buyers’ new space requirements being part of the constellation alongside cheap mortgages, stamp duty holiday extensions in England and Wales, government support for 95% mortgages and a shortage of suitable property to buy.
"There’s also growing optimism due to the vaccination roll-out, which is helping drive the momentum for a fresh start in fresh surroundings. It does mean that this spring’s buyers are facing the highest ever property prices, though with properties selling faster in the first two weeks of April than ever previously recorded by Rightmove at an average of just 45 days to be marked by the agent as sold, it seems that those buyers are not deterred.
"Almost one in four (23%) properties that had a sale agreed in March had been on the market for less than a week, which is also the highest rate that we’ve ever recorded. If you’re looking to buy in the current frenetic market then you need to be on your toes and ready to move more quickly than ever before.”
Two- and three-bedroom semi-detached houses are being snapped up quickest, with 30% of those that are being marked as sold by agents having been on the market for less than a week.
This suggests that the surge in activity is now being driven by the mass market where few buyers will be achieving the maximum stamp duty savings.
Momentum is being partly driven by the lack of property coming to market over the last few months, which has reduced available stock levels as we move into the spring home-moving season.
We can’t compare with the same period a year ago in 2020 when the housing market was effectively suspended, but the number of properties coming to market in the last month is up by a modest 3% on the same period in 2019.
This means it has now recovered to normal levels, but it is still massively outpaced by buyer demand.
In contrast the number of sales agreed is up by 55% on the same period two years ago, and so the proportion of available property is at its lowest ever recorded by Rightmove.
However some of the froth is likely to come off this spring surge later in the year as the challenging economic conditions come to the fore, some of the Government support to individuals and businesses unwinds, and the stamp duty holidays finally end in England and Wales. Nevertheless we expect activity to remain robust for the rest of 2021.
Co-Director os Samuel Wood, Andrew Cadwallader adds: “Wednesday 7th April set a record of over 9.3 million visits to Rightmove, and March saw time spent on the site surpass two billion minutes in a month for the first time.
"This spring surge means that it’s a good time to come to market and achieve a good price and a quick sale, especially if you don’t have an onward purchase.
"The search for more space and new surroundings is still driving the market, with prices rising for the right property in the right location.
"Being able to act quickly when the right one does come along is vital, so having both a mortgage agreed in principle and your own property already sold subject to contract will help to get you to the front of the queue if you’re looking to buy this spring.”