House prices have hit record highs once again in October according to the Rightmove House Price index. However, despite predicting house price growth peaking at 7 per cent in December, Rightmove has a warning for sellers.
The post-lockdown housing market has defied all predictions. The Rightmove House Price Index for October has revealed that house prices are now 5.5 per cent higher than a year ago. This is the biggest rate of increase for over four years.
Average time to sell a property is also getting quicker. The last few months have knocked 50 days off the average time to sell a home. For the first time, estate agents have more properties marked as sold than for sale.
‘Previous records are tumbling in this extraordinary market, and there are still some legs left in the upwards march of property prices,’ says Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data.
‘We predict that the annual rate of growth will peak by December at around 7 per cent higher than a year ago,’ he adds.
This might all sound like great news for home sellers. However, Tim warns that sellers should continue to be cautious about asking prices.
‘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.’
‘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,’ he explains.
‘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 these unprecedented levels.’
House prices might be on the rise. However, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by opting for an unrealistic asking price.