BUYER DEMAND SOARS IN A COILED SPRING MARKET
The data also reveals that prospective buyer numbers are 34% higher than a year ago, before the first lockdown when the country was still enjoying the so-called ‘Boris bounce’, following the general election. The number of sales agreed in the first week of March was up by 12% on last year and during February, Rightmove had more than seven million visits to its website each day on average, which was a 40% increase on February 2020.
As a result of demand outstripping supply, the average price of property coming to market climbed by 0.8%, or an average of £2,484, this month according to Rightmove’s figures. In Yorkshire and the Humber average asking prices have risen by 1.3% in the past month.
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has 20 offices in West and North Yorkshire, said: “Spring is traditionally a busy time for the property market and following a very active winter, Yorkshire is definitely experiencing a shortage of new stock. As a result, many buyers are eagerly awaiting new homes coming to market.
“However, the early signs already suggest stock levels will improve. Many people who have delayed selling, such as families who have been busy home schooling, are now contacting us for valuations and have been spurred on by the stamp duty extension and government guaranteed 95% mortgage products.
“Others have re-evaluated their property priorities during several lockdowns and want to take advantage of record low interest rates. We’re also seeing a big increase in the number of buyers focussing on Yorkshire from outside the region. Of the 7,500 homebuyers that we typically have registered on our database across our offices, prior to last year, approximately 17% were from London and the South East. However, this year that figure is now approaching 25%, which demonstrates the appeal that Yorkshire property holds.”
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, commented: “Concerns of a cliff edge for the housing market at the end of March have dissipated, partly due to the tax deadline extensions in all of the UK bar Scotland, but also because the already high level of buyer demand caused by the lockdowns has continued to surge since the start of the year. This demand will be further boosted from April by the new Government guarantees enabling lenders to bring back 5% deposit mortgages.”