According to a report from Rightmove, average house prices in Great Britain have hit a historical high of £350,000 this month.
The month has seen a 1.7% increase in prices when compared to February, with the average asking price hitting £354,564, a huge increase of £5760 in monetary terms. These figures represent the biggest increase in a month for the time of year, seen for eighteen years, and signifies an annual growth of 10.4% in UK house prices.
Except for London and Scotland, all regions showed an annual growth rate of over 10%.
Experts agree that the driving force behind this marked increase in average prices is largely due to the demand-versus-supply issues in the UK right now. It is thought that demand is double that of the supply of homes available for sale, causing a serious housing shortage and driving fierce competition and price hikes.
Sellers are finding that the chances of finding a serious buyer in as little as a week are higher than ever, with figures indicating that they are twice as likely to sell in this time frame now as they would have been back in 2019.
Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister, commented: “Many of those who are selling in this record-breaking market obviously also face the prospect of buying again in the same market and being in fierce competition against other buyers.”
“Having a buyer for your own property, subject to contract, puts those who are buying again in a powerful position compared to buyers who have yet to sell, and agents report that these ‘power buyers’ are more likely to get the property that they want and negotiate the best deal on price.”
The research, compiled by Rightmove, is the latest indicator that, in the two years since the onset of the COVID pandemic, the property market has remained strong and resilient despite the state of the economy and the end of the stamp duty holiday.
A knock-on effect of the pandemic was the increased demand for larger properties due to an escalating number of workers either forced to work from home or, following the end of the lockdowns, choosing to continue to do so. Being forced to stay home meant many people’s priorities changed when looking at what type of property they were looking to buy.
The result of this demand for larger homes was an increase of 3.4% in seller asking prices for properties with four or more bedrooms. This went a long way in encouraging homeowners to place their properties for sale on the market, with a 12% rise in the number of sellers on the market when compared with the same period last year.
Head of regional agency at Strutt & Parker, Kate Eales, stated: “The trend of a significant number of people planning to work from home for three days a week or more in the longer term has created new hotspots across the country for part-time commuters, including Shropshire, the North Cotswolds, and Suffolk.”