Asking prices hit a record high in April, with homes targeted at first time buyers driving growth, according to the latest House Price Index from Rightmove.
Asking Prices Hit Record High, Particularly for First Time Buyers
Figures from the property portal show that the average new asking price reached a record high of £313,655 in April, up by 2.2% on an annual basis and exceeding the previous peak of £310,471 recorded in June 2016.
Typical first time buyer asking prices surged by 6.5% in the 12 months to April, reaching an average of £194,881.
Second stepper properties rose in value by an average of 3.1% over the year, to hit £265,940, while those at the top of the ladder increased by 1.8%, to an average of £555,963.
Rightmove also reports that sales agreed – based on properties listed as sold subject to completion – rose by 10% year-on-year, which is the highest level at this time of year since 2007.
This helped average time on the market drop from 71 days in February to 65 in March, while stock increased from 52 to 65 over the same period.
The Director of Rightmove, Miles Shipside, comments: “High buyer demand in most parts of the country has helped to propel the price of newly marketed property to record highs.
“There are signs of a strong spring market, with the number of sales agreed achieved at this time of year being the highest since 2007.”
He continues: “It remains to be seen what effect the run-up to the snap election will have, though any slowdown in activity will be counterbalanced by the market’s current fast pace. Indeed, in locations where choice of suitable property is limited, hesitation could mean losing out to others who still decide to act.”
Shipside predicts that stretched buyer affordability will continue to be a price moderator for vendors who are over-ambitious with their pricing, alleviating the pace of price growth.
He adds: “Strong buyer activity this month has led to 10% higher number of sales agreed than in the same period in 2016. This large year-on-year disparity should be viewed cautiously, as the comparable timespan in 2016 saw a drop in buy-to-let activity with the additional second home Stamp Duty.
“However, they are also up by 3.8% when compared to 2015. With the growth in household numbers and new build supply struggling to keep pace, demand is strong and has led to the highest sales agreed numbers at this time of year since the heady pre-credit crunch levels.”