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Rightmove: Asking prices hit all time high

The national average price of property coming to market has hit an all-time high, rising by 0.3% (£1,091) this month, to £338,462, according to data collected by Rightmove.

This new record high is only £15 higher than the previous record set in July, which Rightmove said is a sign that prices are now stabilising.

Buyer demand has remained strong, but this is counterbalanced by increasingly stretched buyer affordability, disappearing stamp duty incentives and the summer holiday mini-lull, alongside sluggish price growth in London.

While five areas of Great Britain (South West, Wales, East Midlands, East of England and South East) have annual price growth in excess of 8%, Greater London has seen better supply of homes for sale than the rest of the country, contributing to a rise of just 0.8%.

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In the first two weeks of September, the number of new listings is up by 14% compared to the last two weeks of August.

In turn, more choice of properties encourages more current owners to come to market if they are looking for an onward purchase, and this greater liquidity is another factor in easing further upwards price pressure.

Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said: “While the holiday-starved took their break over summer, the high ratio of buyer demand to properties for sale means that the property market remains stock starved despite the summer lull lessening overall activity.

“Competition among potential buyers to secure their next home is now more than double what it was this time in 2019. 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.

“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.

“Agents report that buyers who have yet to sell are being out-muscled by buyers who have already sold subject to contract. 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.”

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“This 14% increase in the number of new sellers coming to market in the first half of September is only an early snapshot, but autumn is traditionally a busy period, as those owners who have hesitated thus far during the year see the few months before Christmas as an opportunity to belatedly get their moving plans underway.

“The frenetic pace of this year’s market may also have put some potential movers off, but there are signs of a return of some normality.

“It’s still a strong sellers’ market in most of the country, so those looking to purchase need to do all in their power to maximise their appeal to sellers, who will often have several offers, and will usually choose the one that gives them the best chance of a quick sale.

“Agents are reporting that the most successful buyers are using tactics such as ‘sell before you buy’ to increase their buying power in this competitive market.

“Estate agents know the best methods for movers to secure their ideal properties, so it’s well worth discussing your options with them.”

Cory Askew added: “Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, London has been reclaiming its position as a lifestyle destination that appeals to a wide range of buyer demographics.

“The market has been witnessing a continuous influx of buyers this month who are eager to find their new home without any further delay.

“This is most evident in prime central London where buyer demand has really roared back to life, having lagged behind other parts of London this year.

“With an array of attractive mortgage offerings available, we expect London’s property market to remain buoyant for the remainder of the year. In particular demand are properties with outdoor space or a room that can be utilised as a home office.”

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “We’re heading into an extremely busy period where the property market is concerned and so the expiry of the stamp duty holiday and its impact on the market is going to be far less pronounced than first feared.

“With the stamp duty holiday causing manic market conditions and long delays to transaction times, many homesellers and buyers chose to retreat until the rush had subsided, having long given up hope of a stamp duty saving.

“However, we will now start to see them emerge from their boltholes and this additional stock will help rejuvenate the market throughout the remainder of the year.

“The London market, in particular, 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.”

Colby Short, founder and CEO of, said: “It’s fair to say that the process of selling first to improve your buying position has long been a tactic utilised by UK homebuyers and so we’re not seeing the ‘rise of the power buyer’ as such.

“That said, a high level of competition for a limited level of stock has highlighted the importance of a strong buying position when it comes to securing your ideal home.

“Unfortunately for the nation’s first-time buyers, those with an existing property to fund their onward purchase are in a far stronger position when it comes to placing an offer and this has pushed up the cost of buying quite considerably.

“As a result, those looking to buy their first home are now paying 12% more compared to just 12 months ago.

“However, the cost of borrowing remains very favourable and given current market delays, some sellers will place the stronger position of a first-time buyer above that of a few thousand pounds extra.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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More properties sell for over the asking price

One in eight (13%) properties sold for more than the original asking price in August – the highest recorded since November 2015.

NAEA Propertymark’s August Housing Report found that over half (53%) of properties still sold for less than the asking price last month;

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “It’s interesting to see that one in eight properties sold for more than asking in August this year.

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“Last month, we witnessed a boom in the number of prospective buyers following the government’s announcement of a Stamp Duty holiday, and it seems this is increasing the level of competition in the property market.

“With the increase in the number of prospective buyers since this announcement, many buyers are clearly willing to pay over the asking price in order to secure their dream home.”

The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 12 in August, a slight decrease from 13 in July.

This is the highest figure recorded for the month of August since 2007.


Source: Property Wire

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UK property asking prices jump by record 2.3% month-on-month at turn of year – Rightmove

Asking prices for British houses put on sale in the five weeks to Jan. 11 rose by a record amount for the time of year, property website Rightmove said on Monday, adding to signs of a post-election bounce in consumer and business confidence.

Britain’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and major mortgage lender Halifax have both reported stronger-than-expected housing market activity since Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s election victory on Dec. 12.

Business surveys from Deloitte and IHS Markit have also perked up, as the election result ensures there will be a smooth departure from the European Union on Jan. 31 and no industry renationalisation by the opposition Labour Party.

Rightmove said average asking prices of property marketed between Dec. 8 and Jan. 11 jumped 2.3% in monthly terms, the biggest increase for that period since the survey started in 2002.

Prices were up 2.7% compared with the same period a year earlier, marking the strongest growth since July 2017.

“There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand,” Rightmove director Miles Shipside said. “The housing market dislikes uncertainty, and the unsettled political outlook over the last three and a half years since the EU referendum caused some potential home-movers to hesitate.”

Asking prices, which are not seasonally adjusted, rose by 0.8% year-on-year in December’s release.

Britain’s housing market has slowed since June 2016’s Brexit referendum, especially in London and neighbouring areas, where higher property taxes as well as concern about the impact of Brexit on the region’s economy hurt demand.

There had been some signs of a pick-up in the housing market before the election.

Official data for November showed a 2.2% rise in house prices across Britain, the largest increase in a year, and Halifax said prices rose 4.0% in the 12 months to December, bolstered by the biggest monthly rise in almost 13 years.

But the broader economic picture in the run-up to election was downbeat, with GDP growth in the 12 months to November the slowest since 2012 at just 0.6%, and more Bank of England officials are considering cutting interest rates.

Reporting by David Milliken

Source: UK Reuters

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Properties selling at slowest rate for five years as market slump continues

The property market is moving at its slowest rate for five years, claims.

Analysis of listings data from the property website found the median time on the market for May is 89 days – 11 days longer than the same month last year and the slowest rate for this time of year since 2014.

Time on the market – defined as the period between listing and sold subject to contract – is now at its slowest rate in ten years for London at 96 days.

Supply continues to fall, with new instructions down 9% year-on-year across the UK and down 28% in the capital, while total stock levels are up just 1.7%.

This malaise has seen asking prices increase just 0.5% on a monthly basis but fall 0.2% annually to £307,521.

Doug Shephard, director of, said: “Uncertainty is a highly corrosive factor for the economy. Decisions are postponed indefinitely, projects put on hold and normally bold actors become cautious in the midst of the unknown.

“The Brexit mess may not hamper the purchase of a pair of jeans, but the housing market is severely affected because the stakes are so high.

“Key factors such as cost, importance of timing and the irreversible commitment involved in a home purchase make the current economic environment almost unbearable for the average buyer or seller.

“Uncertainty in the market moves the ‘invisible hand’, a term coined by Adam Smith to describe the unobservable market force that helps the supply and demand of goods in a free market to reach equilibrium.

“That equilibrium is vital for price recovery but is currently being undermined by a growing crisis of confidence in the housing market, especially in Greater London.

“While evidence of falling demand is widespread across the UK, in London both supply and demand are collapsing, and this is causing an acute distortion of the market.

“Price fluctuations during such episodes are to be taken with a pinch of salt. Low volumes lead to extreme volatility in several key market price indicators.

“Take the Halifax and Rightmove indices, which are showing wild variations from month to month and adding to confusion in the marketplace.”


Source: Property Industry Eye

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London house prices fell 1.5 per cent in December as Brexit bites

The average asking price for London houses fell 1.5 per cent in December compared to the previous month as Brexit uncertainty continued to dampen the capital’s property market, according to figures released today.

Figures from the latest Rightmove House Price Index showed the average asking price for a London home is now just under £594,000. Nationally, asking prices increased by an average of 0.4 per cent in December.

“Given the current market backdrop and ongoing political turmoil, it’s not surprising that the more challenging conditions in London and its nearby regions mean that they appear to have had a slower start to the year,” said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst.

The average time taken to sell a home in London in December was 82 days, up from 78 days at the same time last year. London houses took almost two weeks longer to sell than the national average of 70 days.

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau said: “It’s no surprise that today’s report suggests that the northern regions of the UK appear to have had a brisker start to 2019 than London and the south, as this is a continuation of the disaggregated picture we saw last year.”

Despite the sluggish market, Rightmove reported that visits to its website in the first two weeks of 2019 were up five per cent on last year.

Murphy said that “regardless of the ongoing Brexit-driven headlines, this perhaps highlights that regardless of geopolitics, people both need and want to get on with their lives”.

Source: City AM

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Asking prices for UK homes show biggest two-month fall in six years: Rightmove

Asking prices for properties being put up for sale in Britain have suffered their biggest fall over a two-month period since 2012, property website Rightmove said, the latest sign of a slowdown in the housing market ahead of Brexit.

Average asking prices for new sellers were down by a monthly 1.5 percent in the four weeks to Dec. 8 after a fall of 1.7 percent in the previous month, Rightmove said on Monday.

On an annual basis, asking prices across the country rose by 0.7 percent but fell in London by 1.1 percent.

Before the Brexit referendum in June 2016, asking prices as measured by Rightmove were rising by around 7 percent a year.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said sellers typically priced properties lower before Christmas to get buyers’ attention.

“However, these falls have been larger than usual, making this the largest fall over two months for six years, showing that there are more than just seasonal forces at play,” he said.

The weakness in Britain’s housing market has appeared in other measures of house prices, something surveyors say reflects the uncertainty about the country’s exit from the European Union in March.

Rightmove said a relatively small fall in the number of sales suggested the lower prices were tempting some buyers into the market at a time of year which usually sees few transactions.

Source: City A.M.

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Subdued asking prices provide opportunity for first-time buyers

Average asking prices in the UK rose by just 1% in October, the lowest monthly rate of growth at this time of year since 2010.

The average asking price now stands at £307,245, up from £304,061 in September, according to Rightmove.

The slowest sector was properties with two bedrooms or fewer, with a 0.1% monthly price fall as a result of less buy-to-let investor activity, giving first-time buyers an opportunity this autumn.

Mortgage approvals for new buy-to-let purchases were down by 14% compared to a year ago and down by 53% compared to three years ago as the more punitive tax regime has taken effect.

First-time buyers helped to fill some of the gap left by lower buy-to-let activity with their year-on-year mortgage approvals up by 1%

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “With the government using the tax system to try and help first-time buyers while deterring out-of-favour landlords, prices in this sector have been subdued as intended. That gives aspiring first-time buyers an autumn opportunity to negotiate a favourable deal.”

Robert Lazarus, managing director of sales at Paramount Properties in North West London, said: “There’s a better opportunity for first-time buyers coming in to the market at the minute compared to a couple of years ago, especially if they’re looking for a one bed flat.

“Before the additional stamp duty on second homes came in we were selling 20% of these flats to landlords which was driving prices up, and now we’re selling less than 5% of them to landlords, giving first-time buyers the first pick of new stock that comes on.”

Source: Your Money

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Asking prices growing at slowest rate for over six years as investors sit on their hands

Asking prices are now growing at the slowest annual rate for over six years as buy-to-let investors become less active, Rightmove said today.

A second property website, Home, said that the market correction is “well underway”, while Hamptons International said landlords are buying fewer buy-to-let  properties and spending less when they do buy.

According to Hamptons, there were 64,260 buy-to-let purchases in the first half of this year, down 13% on the same period last year, and 31% down on the first half of 2015.

Landlords spent £12.1bn on buying rental properties, down 30% from the £17.3bn spent in 2015.

Separate Rightmove data out this morning shows new asking prices were up just 0.9% annually this month to £307,245, which is the lowest annual rate of growth since February 2012.

Price growth has also hit lows on a monthly basis, at 1%, the lowest rate for October since 2010.

The overall low rates of growth were attributed to asking price falls on smaller homes typically purchased by landlords and first-time buyers.

For two-bedroom or smaller properties, new asking prices fell 0.1% over the month to £190,587, with selling time rising  from 55 to 58 days.

Miles Shipside, housing market analyst for Rightmove, said: “Landlords are clearly buying far fewer properties and that leaves a gap in the market for first-time buyers.

“While landlords were hit with a 3% Stamp Duty surcharge on property purchases back in April 2016, in contrast most first-time buyers were effectively awarded Stamp Duty free status in November 2017.

“The fall in prices at the bottom of the market during what is a traditional busier time means that those keen to sell need to price accordingly, which gives an opportunity for those Stamp Duty free first-time buyers to negotiate harder.

“First-time buyer mortgage approvals are up, albeit by a marginal 1% year-on-year, showing that some first-time buyers are helping to fill the gap in the market left by less competition from investors.

“If the Chancellor’s Budget this month encourages more landlords to sell to long-term tenants via Capital Gains Tax relief, then landlords who are looking to sell and renters who aspire to become first-time buyers could work together for their mutual benefit.”

Meanwhile, Home has claimed price cutting is “the new normal”.

The property information website said 16% of properties currently for sale have had their prices reduced in the past 30 days, a percentage last seen in January 2009.

The total number of properties that had their asking prices reduced in September soared to levels last seen in September 2011 at 83,780 in the UK, Home said.

This put average asking prices at £309,366, up just 0.6% annually.

Overall supply of property for sale in the UK was up by 6% and the total stock for sale has increased by 10.7% year-on-year, while typical time on the market has increased by three days to 92 this month compared with October last year.

Doug Shephard, director of Home, said: “The market correction is now well underway. This month another key region, the east of England, joined the year-on-year negative club, and the south-west is applying for membership.

“Overall, annualised price growth for England and Wales looks set to hit zero by the end of the year and fall into the negative in early 2019.

“This is the hangover after one of the biggest property investment binges in UK history, fuelled, of course, by ultra-low interest rates. How long it will take to play out is unclear but we don’t expect the market to return to overall growth any time soon.”

Hamptons said that lack of new supply has led to rent rises in every region.

Source: Property Industry Eye