Property Market Update: Homes selling faster than ever in a Spring market ‘frenzy’

Story posted: 10.05.22

Despite growing economic headwinds, the 2022 property market continues to set new milestones for price and activity levels with the price of property coming to market hitting a new record high for the third consecutive month, up by 1.6% to £360,101, according to the latest market analysis from Rightmove.

Month-on-month prices have risen by an average of +£5,537, and over the last three months by £19,082. This figure is the largest three-month price increase that Rightmove has ever recorded, with high buyer demand enabling sellers to ask and achieve ever higher prices.

With not enough property available on the market, sellers are able to find a buyer quicker than ever previously seen by Rightmove, and twice as quickly as in the same period in the more normal market of 2019. This momentum is despite the growing economic headwinds, though we forecast that these headwinds will slow the pace of price rises as the year progresses.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments“With three new monthly price records in a row, 2022 has started with price-rise momentum even greater than during the stamp-duty-holiday-fuelled market of last year. While growing affordability constraints mean that this momentum is not sustainable for the longer term, the high demand from a large number of buyers chasing too few properties for sale has led to a spring price frenzy, a hat-trick of record price months, and the largest price increase for a three-month period Rightmove has ever recorded.

The strong momentum has carried over from last year and, combined with the impetus of the spring moving season, has delivered the quickest selling market we’ve ever seen. The high speed of the market and competition among buyers when making an onward move will be deterring some owners from putting their homes up for sale.

However, if you can secure both a quick sale and a quick purchase then it’s a lot less stressful than the uncertainties of a slower market when finding a buyer for your own home can drag on for months or not happen at all. Over 125,000 new sellers have taken advantage of the great sellers’ market this month, but more are needed in all areas and in all property sectors to meet high buyer demand.”

Across Great Britain, and in all of Rightmove’s lower, middle, and upper market sectors, properties are at new record price levels. This is only the second time since 2007 that Rightmove has measured such an event, with the previous ‘full house’ being earlier in this property frenzy in October of last year. The frenetic activity continues, with this month seeing properties selling faster than ever previously recorded by Rightmove. This time in 2019, the average time to sell was 67 days. It now stands at an average of just 33 days before a property is marked as sold subject to contract on Rightmove. Of course, this is an average, and some popular properties are sold within days while others that are less desirable may still take months.

This fastest-ever speed of sale means that 53% of properties that sell are now selling at or over their final advertised asking price, the highest percentage ever measured. Overall, Rightmove analysis shows that properties are achieving 98.9% of the final advertised asking price on average, which is also the highest percentage since records began. However, the pace of price rises does now appear to be tailing off a little, with this month’s increase of 1.6% being lower than the 1.7% and 2.3% in the previous two months. Whilst it is normal to see modest seasonal price falls in several months of the second half of the year, with stock remaining at record lows and underlying strong demand, we do not expect these falls to be any more significant than usual this year.

Market sentiment in Hertfordshire seems to be consistent with the national picture, with demand far outweighing supply, driving up house prices across the region. 

Nick Wearmouth, Sales Director at Ashtons said: “Classic market economics of supply and demand are currently playing out across the market.  Housing stock levels have yet to increase to meet the demand either nationally or locally.  New buyer registration across the Ashtons Group is up 135% vs the same quarter last year.  In contrast, new instructions are only running at 93% versus the same point last year."

This means a lot of buyers are competing over houses resulting in many properties going to best offers. In fact, in the South-East, house prices have increased by 1.2% in the last month and by a not insignificant 10.6% from this time last year. The average house price in the area has also increased once again in April 2022 to £479,500.

The statistics further support the message that sellers are best placed to market and secure an offer on their own home to ensure they are best positioned to act quickly when their dream home becomes available or run the very serious risk of missing out.

If you are considering a move this year, or have any queries regarding the current housing market, please do contact one of our property experts today.


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