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Estate Agents Report Busiest Ever Start Of A Year

The competitive, busy and seller-focused housing market looks set to enter its third year as fast-paced as ever according to recent sales figures.

Rightmove’s House Price Index reported that the annual rate of price growth from the start of 2021 to the start of 2022 was 7.6 per cent, the highest since May 2016, and the number of requests for home valuations has increased by 44 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Overall average house prices are up, albeit by a more modest 0.3 per cent, although estate agents in Hackney have reported an average property price of nearly £700,000, although this includes houses that range from £280,000 to over £2m.

In particular, asking prices for first-time buyer homes have hit a record high average of £214,176, a monthly increase of 1.4 per cent.

The main driving force for the busy housing market continues to be strong demand tempered by a supply of homes that cannot catch up, with the number of homes for sale per estate agency dropping to an average of 12.

This in combination with a 15 per cent increase in enquiries from buyers has meant that competition has doubled even in comparison with early 2021.

Reports from analysts in the housing sector have suggested that until more choice becomes available this price average will continue to increase, and this will have implications for the shape of the market over the coming months until the supply of homes begins to stabilise.

As has been seen over the past year, power buyers who are not in a property chain and are in a position to buy immediately are likely to continue to be prioritised, and buyers are advised to act quickly if they see a property they like and book a viewing, as each sale has been particularly competitive.