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Residential News | Thu 18 Feb 2021
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Average asking prices for homes have increased in the past four weeks, after three consecutive months of falls, according to the latest data from property search website, Rightmove.

Rightmove’s figures reveal the average asking price increased by £1,522, or 0.5%, to £318,580 nationally in the past month. This comes on the back of asking prices dipping in the run up to Christmas, as sellers attempted to agree deals and secure buyers before the stamp duty holiday ends, for properties priced up to £500,000, on 31st March 2021.

Rightmove’s figures also show that one in five buyers who agreed a purchase in July last year have still not completed more than six months later, with an estimated 100,000 buyers likely to miss out on their expected tax saving.

In the first week of February, visits to Rightmove’s website soared by 45%, with home-hunters sending 18% more enquiries, and the number of purchases agreed was up by 7%, compared to the same week in 2020. However, high demand from buyers is outstripping supply with new seller numbers 21% down on last year.

Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has 20 offices in West and North Yorkshire, said: “Rightmove’s latest data is being largely mirrored in Yorkshire. High demand combined with a limited supply of new homes coming to the market, as well as strong levels of liquidity and historically low interest rates, means that prices are holding up well in the region.

“There is a particular shortage of family homes for sale now, due to owners delaying selling because they are busy juggling homeworking with home schooling. Plus, some sellers also understandably have concerns about the practicalities of viewings, although most good estate agents have become adept at demonstrating safe viewings and valuations, as well as using technology to offer virtual viewings. However, current demand in the market makes it a good time for potential sellers to start preparing to market homes now.”

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, commented: “Last year the market was unexpectedly buoyed by buyers’ determination to move and satisfy their new lockdown-induced housing needs. We may well be seeing a continuation of that this year. Rightmove’s early 2021 buyer data shows that despite the imminent end of the stamp duty incentive, all of the key buyer metrics are ahead of early 2020, itself an active period as the market was boosted by the post-election ‘Boris bounce’. 

“As well as the current lockdown motivating buyer demand again, the restrictions have also been a factor in limiting new supply, leading to some modest upwards price pressure. These are strong signs that new buyer demand is not facing a cliff-edge after the 31st of March. It remains to be seen if this momentum will be enough to make up for the removal of the stamp duty savings that are benefitting many buyers and have been adding a sense of urgency to the whole market.”

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