UK Property Prices Still Hovering At All-Time Highs
Record-high house prices show no signs of abating, with the latest figures from Rightmove indicating a continuation of ferocious competition for desirable properties.
Available inventory across the UK remains at an all-time low, pushing average house prices up another 0.3% in September. This took the average UK property price to £338,462 last month – £15 higher than the previous record set in July.
This suggests that the expiration of the Stamp Duty holiday did not have the major impact on the sector many analysts had expected. However, it also suggests that the sector may be slowly stabilising, as record monthly gains give way to more modest growth.
“It’s to be expected that the astronomic rates of house price growth seen since the introduction of the stamp duty holiday will now start to subside as we approach the final deadline,” commented James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester
“But don’t be fooled into thinking the market will now deflate like a cheap birthday balloon. Buyer demand is extremely high and property prices will remain robust, largely driven by second and third rung buyers upgrading to larger, higher-value homes,”
“Competition among potential buyers to secure their next home is now more than double what it was this time in 2019,” said Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data.
Mr Forrester went on to discuss how buying power continues to play into the hands of wealthier movers and buyers, but also how there is more to beating rival buyers to the punch in today’s competitive market.
“To be in pole-position in the race for the best property you need to have greater buying power than the rest of the field,” he said.
“That traditionally would mean deeper pockets to outbid other buyers, but in the most competitive market ever, today’s ‘power buyers’ also need to have already found a buyer for their own property, or to have no need to sell at all,”
“Proof that you are mortgage-ready or can splash the cash without needing a mortgage will also help you to get the pick of the housing crop.”
A Property Boom for London?
Annual house price growth across much of the UK has been astronomical, with five areas having achieved year-on-year growth in excess of 8% – the South West, Wales, East Midlands, East of England and South East.
Annual house price growth in Greater London came out at just 0.8%, attributed to the new trend of working from home and buyers subsequently seeking more spacious properties outside the capital.
However, sluggish property price growth in London could prove to be a catalyst for its performance over the coming months.
As life slowly returns to some form of normality, there are those who believe London could be on the brink of a major increase in real estate market activity.
“The London market is poised for a strong finish with an abundance of stock now available and a sharp uplift in domestic and foreign demand being driven by pandemic restriction lifting both where the workplace and travel are concerned,” commented Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves.