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Residential News | Thu 20 Feb 2020
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This week property search giant Rightmove revealed the price of property being listed for sale on its website has hit a new high, after rising 0.8% over the past four weeks, leading to an average increase of £2,589, as momentum builds ahead of spring.

This is just £40 short of the record high seen in June 2018. Regionally, Rightmove’s figures revealed that Yorkshire and The Humber outperformed the national average with a monthly increase in asking prices of 3.5% and a total annual increase of 5.1%.

In addition, the number of sales agreed have surged by 12.3% year-on-year nationally. New seller numbers are also starting to recover and are up by 2.1% this month compared to the same period last year, which is the first year-on-year rise for 13 months. 

Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, said: “After so much political uncertainty, which undoubtedly meant lots of potential buyers felt the time wasn’t right to move, there’s now lots of positivity coming out of the housing market, which is echoed by Rightmove’s latest figures. 

“Since the start of the year, across West and North Yorkshire, we’ve seen plenty of new homes coming onto the market from motivated sellers who want to move and this should continue as we head into spring, which is traditionally a busy time for the market. 

“However, buyers remain price-sensitive, so sellers have to be realistic about asking prices and arming themselves with excellent market insight and advice, from a strong local agent, is key to achieving a sale.”

Rightmove’s monthly web traffic is also up by 7.2% on the previous year, hitting a new record of over 152 million visits in January, which indicates the high level of pent-up demand in the UK’s housing market.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, commented: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month. The average price of newly-marketed property is just £40 below its all-time high from June 2018, with the typically busy spring market still to come. 

“This means that spring buyers are likely to be faced with the highest average asking prices ever seen in Britain. Buyers who had been hesitating and waiting for the greater political certainty following the election outcome may be paying a higher price, but they can now jump into the spring market with renewed confidence. After three and a half years of Brexit uncertainty, dither, and delay, many now seem to have the 2020 vision that this is the year to satisfy their pent-up housing needs.

“It’s the first time for over a year that we have seen any sign of a return of seller confidence, albeit lagging behind the surge in numbers of early-bird buyers. Owners coming to market this spring face the best selling prospects for several years, with good demand for the right properties at the right prices. However, sellers should be careful not to get carried away with their pricing, as this is still a price-sensitive market with stretched buyer affordability. Those who over-price risk missing out on the window of increased activity that could run at least until we approach the next Brexit deadline at the end of the year. Now could be an excellent time to get on the market and sell, seizing the opportunity of achieving a quick sale at a decent price.”

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