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Asking Prices Reach Record High

With a 5.5% increase year on year

The average asking price of homes across the UK has hit a new record high, according to the latest Rightmove data. This month’s 1.1% monthly rise has pushed the average up to £323,530, an increase of 5.5% compared to a year ago.

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “Previous records are tumbling in this extraordinary market, and there are still some legs left in the upwards march of property prices.”

Bannister predicts that the annual rate of growth will peak by December at around 7% higher than a year ago. He went on to say: “Many buyers seem willing to pay record prices for properties that fit their changed post-lockdown needs, though agents are commenting that some owners’ price expectations are now getting too optimistic, and not all properties fit the must-have template that buyers are now seeking.”

He continued: “Not only is the time left to sell and legally complete before the 31st March stamp duty deadline being eaten away by the calendar, but more time is also needed because the sheer volume of sales is making it take longer for sales that have been agreed to complete the process. Sellers and their agents should therefore be wary of being too optimistic on their initial asking price, as whilst activity levels continue to amaze there are some signs of momentum easing off from these unprecedented levels.”

September also saw three new records for market activity, with figures better than ever previously recorded by Rightmove. According to the property portal, the average time to sell is now 50 days, which is 12 days faster than the same period last year.

So far in October the number of sales agreed is still 58% up on the same period last year. The number of active buyers contacting estate agents also continues to run at a high level, up by 66% in September compared to 12 months ago, and only marginally down on the peak of 67% seen in July.

Bannister added: “Prospective buyers are seeing properties selling fast and prices rising as they search for their next home , adding to momentum and spurring them on to act quickly. With the number of buyers contacting agents still up by two-thirds on a year ago, there is plenty of fuel left in the tank to drive further activity in the run-up to Christmas and into next year. It appears that the current momentum, assisted by the prospect of stamp duty savings, is helping to keep the housing market healthy.”

Rarely have we seen such healthy activity in Wilsons office. We do however feel that only we, but also buyers and sellers should make hay while the sun shines. People planning a move could be well advised to take the plunge now, or at least soon. Storm clouds hover.

By Chris Willey
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