House Price Index - March 2022

Green houses

Best ever spring sellers’ market as prices hit another new record.

The price of property coming to market has hit a new record high for the second consecutive month, with the national average now being £354,564.

This month’s 1.7% (+£5,760) increase is the largest at this time of year since March 2004. In addition, the annual rate of 10.4% is the highest that Rightmove has recorded in any month since June 2014. This unprecedented price level is being stoked by the greatest imbalance between buyer demand and the number of properties available for sale that we have ever measured at this time of year. This is the strongest spring sellers’ market that we have ever seen in several metrics.

There are now more than twice as many buyers as sellers active in the market, which is the biggest mismatch between supply and demand that we have ever recorded at this time of year. The speed of the market is further demonstrated by the fact that are there more than one in five (22%) deals being agreed on Rightmove within the first week of being marketed. This is double the figure for the same period in the more normal market of 2019. Almost half, 47%, are having a sale agreed within the first fortnight, another indicator of high demand and the likelihood of finding a buyer quickly. While these unprecedented numbers are helping to drive prices to new records, they do also show that there are a number of properties that will remain on the market after this time and that may benefit from a price reduction.

The largest monthly price rise has been recorded in the “top of the ladder” sector, predominantly comprising four bedroom or more properties. This has seen a 3.8% (+£23,619) jump due to high demand and the greatest scarcity of supply, though encouragingly for prospective buyers in this sector 12% more properties have come to market in the last month compared to the same period a year ago. However it’s the more mass-market “second-stepper” sector that’s selling fastest, with just over half (50.3%) of these homes finding a buyer within the first two weeks of marketing.

Summary:

 

  • Another new price record as the average price of property coming to market jumps by 1.7% (+£5,760) this month to £354,564, breaking through the £350,000 barrier for the first time
  • The average monthly rise is the largest seen at this time of year since March 2004, pushing the annual rate of increase to 10.4%, with all regions and countries except London and Scotland now up over 10% annually
  • Most expensive sector of four bedrooms plus sees average 3.8% (+£23,619) monthly price surge encouraging new sellers to come to market, with 12% more new listings in this sector than at this time last year
  • For those looking to move this is the best ever spring sellers’ market, not just because of record price levels:
    • We enter the spring selling season with the biggest mismatch between supply and demand for this time of year ever measured by Rightmove, with more than twice as many buyers as sellers
    • Chance of finding a buyer in first week is highest ever, and twice as likely compared to same period in 2019
  • Too early to know how the market will be affected by the longer-term economic impact of the abhorrent and devastating war in Ukraine. Rightmove initially saw slightly lower buyer demand but this has now stabilised
  • We forecast a less frothy market in the second half of the year, as economic headwinds lead to a more evenly balanced market, though demand will still outstrip supply
Walton Robinson
Tags: