The Rightmove House Price Index is reporting yet another odds-defying house price hike this month – and the strongest seller’s market in a decade.
The Rightmove House Price Index contradicts all predictions of a housing market slowdown, the property experts at Rightmove have a very clear message for anyone planning to sell their home this year: now is the perfect time.
While the month-on-month house price increase is fairly modest – 0.8 per cent (an average increase of £2,484) – it’s the demand for a limited housing stock that continues to defy imagination. Demand for property was 34 per cent higher in the period leading up to the first week of March than a year ago, when the market was active and before any of the Covid lockdowns even began.
This is an extraordinary level of demand that is continuing to push up house prices and the level of house sales, which was 12 per cent higher in early March 2021 than last year.
Meanwhile, the shortage of available houses for sale is showing signs of easing. The number of new listings down only five per cent year-on-year in March in contrast with the dire situation back in February, when the number of new listings plummeted by 20 per cent year-on year.
This is welcome news, as Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, predicts, demand will continue growing this spring as government measures make borrowing for a mortgage easier: ‘demand will be further boosted from April by the new Government guarantees enabling lenders to bring back five-per-cent deposit mortgages.’
If you are a seller, rejoice: ‘this could be one of the best ever Easters to sell.’ If you’re a buyer, the situation is a bit trickier with the competition remaining high, but historically low interest rates and the return of sellers to the market will still make this spring ‘the right time [to buy] for many’.
‘Blossoming buyer demand coinciding with blossoming gardens should put a spring in the steps of sellers, and more of them coming to market will provide a much-needed increase in the choice of property for the many who are looking to buy,’ he adds.
The upward trajectory in new listings is certainly encouraging. It is likely that if you start your house search in April, you’ll have more choice – and a better chance of securing a low-deposit mortgage thanks to the government mortgage guarantee scheme.