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Biggest rise for 10 months

UK house prices increase by 1.5% in biggest rise for 10 months

The average price of newly marketed properties is up by 1.5% (+£5,279) this month, higher than the historic March increase of 1% and the biggest rise for 10 months, reports Rightmove this week.

UK house prices increase by 1 5
Originally posted: 21st March, 2024

Significant increase in buyer demand this month

The average price of newly marketed properties is up by 1.5% (+£5,279) this month, higher than the historic March increase of 1% and the biggest rise for 10 months, reports Rightmove this week.

Buyer demand up

The average asking price has reached £368,118, and buyer demand is up, Rightmove says in its lastest House Price Index report, published this week. It says estate agents are reporting a significant increase in buyer demand this month as more people are “seeing a window of opportunity to buy”.

Rightmove says the positive start to the year continues, paving the way for a higher number of home purchases than last year:

  • The number of sales being agreed is now 13% up on this time last year
  • Buyer demand is now 8% up on last year

However, despite the better-than-expected start to the year, the housing market remains sensitive to both pricing and external events, says Rightmove.

“Stronger than usual price growth”

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science, said: “March is typically a strong month for asking price growth, as both buyer and seller activity levels rise and the spring selling season gets underway. However, the stronger than usual price growth this March indicates that new sellers are feeling much more confident, with some perhaps being over-optimistic, that there is enough buyer activity and affordability in their local market to achieve a higher price. Despite the above average price increases in this opening three months of the year, asking prices are still £4,776 below their peak in May 2023. For those who can afford to buy and have yet to take action to move this year, this may provide a window of opportunity to buy as we now seem to be past the bottom of the market. While some sellers are still being over-optimistic with their pricing expectations, there are also more sellers who are aware of the need to be negotiable and realistic, with elevated interest rates compared to recent years still stretching affordability for many buyers.”

The average time it takes to find a buyer is now 71 days; the longest at this time of year since 2019. Agents report that buyers are quickly cherry-picking properties which are priced attractively, whilst over-priced properties are taking much longer to sell, pushing the average time to find a buyer up.

“Positive first three months”

“It’s been a positive first three months of the year for the market and better than many anticipated,” said Tim, adding: “However, we know from last year how quickly the picture can change with some negative economic news or surprises, evidenced in Rightmove’s data which captured the immediate buyer reaction to the lack of major housing initiatives in the Spring Budget. Sellers are right to feel more confident and optimistic this year, but buyer affordability remains stretched and higher mortgage rates are an ongoing challenge. With the market still sensitive to pricing and external events, some caution and willingness to negotiate is advised for sellers who are keen to find a buyer in the Spring market.”

Thinking of selling your home? Book a free valuation now

If you are thinking of selling your home, now is the time to take action. Make the most of the current upturn in the housing market, and get a valuation of your property. Preston Baker Estate Agents is happy to give you a free, no obligation valuation.

We work relentlessly to get the best results for home sellers, and can also help you with your onward move, including finding properties that are not yet on the market.

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UK house prices increase by 1 5
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