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Early-bird home sellers benefit from busiest start ever to a New Year

The average price tag on a UK home increased by £852 in January

Originally posted: 17th January, 2022

Current housing market frenzy predicted to continue

The average price tag on a UK home increased by £852 in January with early-bird sellers benefitting from the busiest start ever to a New Year, says Rightmove.

The average price of a property coming to the market is up by 0.3% this month (+£852) to £341,019. This is 7.6% more than in January 2021; the highest annual rate of price growth recorded since May 2016 by Rightmove.

First-time buyer asking prices struck a new record of £214,176 following a monthly increase of 1.4%.

Strong demand

Rightmove’s House Price Index for January 2022 predicts that strong demand and low numbers of homes available for sale set the current housing market frenzy to go on into the start of 2022, with early-bird sellers benefitting from stronger buyer competition.

  • The number of buyer enquiries about homes is 15% up on the same time last year.
  • The number of homes available for sale per estate agency branch is down again to a new record low of only 12.
  • Due to this, competition between buyers is almost double the level it was at this time last year.

There are some signs that there is more property choice coming, with the first working week of the year being the busiest start of the year ever for people asking for agents for home valuations. The number of requests for home valuations in the first week of 2022 is 44% higher than the same period last year, and 48% up on the same time period in 2020.

This first working week was the busiest start ever to a year for home valuation requests, and the first working day, January 4th, brought the fifth-highest number of valuation requests in one day that has ever been recorded by Rightmove.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, said: “New Year sellers and buyers have been quick off the mark this year, with Rightmove recording the highest ever number of Boxing Day sellers coming to market. These early-bird sellers who got themselves ready to come to market are now benefitting from the busiest start to the year that we’ve ever recorded, with the number of prospective buyers enquiring about homes up 15% on this time last year. People who have made it their New Year’s resolution to move are finding asking prices are within just one per cent of the record from October last year, and are at the highest level ever recorded for first-time-buyer type homes. All of the signs suggest that prices are likely to continue to rise until more choice is available.”

Houses getting snapped up

As the number of homes that are available for sale per estate agency branch hits another record low of just 12 properties; down by two from last month, the few available homes continue to be snapped up quickly by determined buyers. The average time it took to find a buyer in December was more than two weeks faster than in the same period last year.

Strong buyer competition

There remains strong buyer competition for available homes as we move into 2022, with enquiries from would-be buyers to estate agents up 15% on the same time last year. With an increase in buyer enquiries and less properties for sale, the overall level of buyer interest for every property available is almost double what is was at the beginning of 2021, which was a very active market itself. As a consequence of this, over 70% of the properties currently on the books of estate agents have already sold, leaving under 30% still available for sale.

“Become a ‘power buyer’”

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said: “It’s clear that the trends which defined the market in 2021 have carried over into this year. That being said, we are seeing early signs of a better balanced market in 2022. The number of requests from would-be sellers to agents to value their home has continued to increase from the end of last year and was at one of its highest points ever on the first working day of this year. While this potential new supply will take a little while to appear on the market, it’s an encouraging sign of more choice for buyers in the coming months. The speed at which we’ve seen the fresh choice that has come to market being snapped up by eager buyers over the past 18 months is a reminder to buyers to move fast and book a viewing with the estate agent as soon as a property that could be the one for you comes to market. Almost 40% of people enquiring about a home who have a property to sell say that they are yet to put it on the market. In the current market, where they are competing against other buyers who are able to move more quickly, this is likely to mean they’ll miss out on the home they want. To put yourself in the best possible position to proceed, you should become a ‘power buyer’, by making sure your current home is on the market or preferably sold subject to contract first, before starting the search for your new home.”

Put yourself in the best position

In such a competitive housing market it’s crucial you get yourself in the best position to secure the house you want. This means being a proceedable buyer. Proceedable buyers are what sellers are looking for.

A proceedable buyer is someone who has their current property on the market and has accepted an offer (ideally from another proceedable buyer).

Get your house valued

The first step is to get your house valued.

Book a valuation now with Preston Baker and find out how much your house is worth.