Average asking prices from new listings have increased by 1.1% from March, and are now at their highest level since June 2016. Nonetheless, Rightmove pointed out that the average price increase for this time of year over the last seven years stood at 1.6%. What’s more, annual price increases now stand at 2.2%, the lowest figure for four years.
However, Rightmove pointed to the positivity of strong buyer activity – the number of agreed sales are at their highest level for this time of year since 2007.
Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said that if the coming election dents activity, it will be counter-balanced by the market’s current fast pace.
He continued: “Indeed, in locations where choice of suitable property is limited hesitation could mean losing out to others who still decide to act.”
Shipside highlighted that buyer activity meant there had been a 10% increase in the number of sales agreed compared to the same time in 2016, but noted: “This large year-on-year disparity should be viewed cautiously as the comparable timespan in 2016 saw a drop in buy-to-let activity with the additional second home stamp duty. However, they are also up by 3.8% when compared to 2015. With the growth in household numbers and new-build supply struggling to keep pace, demand is strong and has led to the highest sales agreed numbers at this time of year since the heady pre-credit-crunch levels.”
According to the index, the average property is now taking just 65 days to sell. That’s the lowest figure since October 2016, while estate agents have on average 56 properties on their books. That’s up from the quieter Christmas and New Year period, but down from 59 at this point in 2016.