The average price of property hit a new record for a fifth consecutive month, rising £1,113 between April and May, the online estate agent added.
This was the smallest increase since January, as the pace of price rises started to slow.
Rightmove said that despite five consecutive interest rate rises and the increasing cost of living, buyer demand for each available property remained strong, being more than double, 113 per cent more, than the pre-pandemic five-year May average.
The estate agent said there were signs that prices were easing, with this measure of demand down by eight per cent in May compared to April.
After a very strong first half of the year, Rightmove said affordability constraints would have a greater influence on market behaviour in the months ahead, with further interest rate rises anticipated.
Price falls in the second half of the year
This, alongside more choice coming onto the market for buyers and the usual seasonal variations, meant that there were likely to be some month-on-month price falls during the second half of the year.
Rightmove said it expected this to bring house price growth by the end of the year to the five per cent it originally predicted in December.
Tim Bannister, director of property science at Rightmove said: “The exceptional pace of the market is easing a little, as demand gradually softens and price rises begin to slow, which is very much to be expected given the many record-breaking numbers over the past two years.”
“When we look at the number of buyers contacting estate agents compared to 2019 or the pre-pandemic five-year average, demand is still very high compared to what was once considered normal.”
“We’re hearing from agents that though they might have had slightly fewer enquirers for each property in recent months, they’re still seeing significant interest from multiple buyers and are achieving successful sales.”
“Entering the second half of the year, we anticipate some further slowdown in the pace of price rises, particularly given the worsening affordability challenges that people are facing. We expect this to bring the annual rate of price growth down from the current 9.7 per cent towards the five per cent increase that Rightmove predicted at the beginning of the year.”
Steve Griffiths, sales director at The Mortgage Lender, said: “An economic reality of high inflation, interest rate rises, and looming expectations of a recession is the ensuing impact on house prices and market slowdown. Despite the fact buyer demand is continuing to push house prices upwards, it’s clear that the reality of the cost-of-living crisis is beginning to be felt.”
Richard Davies, managing director of Chestertons, said the successive May Day, Jubilee and Whitsun bank holidays may have led people to put their home buying plans on hold.
He said: “On paper, this might suggest a slowing of the market but in reality it has very much been a temporary dip as for the month of June so far, we have registered an actual 42 per cent increase in buyer enquiries compared to June last year. Although demand still outstrips supply, we have noticed a higher number of sellers putting their properties up for sale. As a result, there has been a three per cent increase in the number of available properties to buy.”
“As the housing market cools, and UK consumer confidence further dwindles with household budgets contracting, first time buyers and those looking to remortgage may feel their options diminishing when it comes to lender choice. For those individuals seeking lending options which suit their individual circumstances, looking beyond the high street and their own personal bank is one option to explore in order to help them realise their property ambitions.”