Is The Housing Market Stabilising?
Although this shows that things are slowing down, the percentage of homes that are selling for over the original price was still the highest on record for July and it beat the previous record in July 2020.
In addition, the number of sales agreed per estate agency branch fell to 10 in July down from 11 in June. In July 2020, the average sales agreed per branch was 13 following the pent-up demand from lockdown.
In terms of the average number of house hunters registering for property alerts per estate agency branch, in July it was 428 in July, which is an increase from the June’s figure of 426. The number of first-time buyers among all buyers in the UK fell to 20% in July from June’s figure of 27%
In terms of asking prices for properties, these dropped by 0.3% month on month to £337,371 in August with a cooling off in the market for homes with four or more bedrooms according to Rightmove. Demand for homes from second-steppers was strong with prices of houses rising 0.3% month on month and 6.6% year on year. Asking prices for houses reached new highs with an average listing price for first-time buyer homes rose by 0.6%.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house prices soared by 13.2% in the year to June – this is the highest annual growth since 2004 and house prices are up 4.5% on the previous month. In Scotland prices were up by 12%.
Prices for houses with four or more bedrooms fell by 0.8% but this was still 9.4% higher than last August.
According to Rightmove, the overall national average asking price was £1,071 lower than July, which is the first month-on-month fall recorded.
What’s the outlook?
Buyer demand is currently still very strong and Rightmove predicts that there will be a buoyant market this autumn for both buyers and sellers. In the first week of last month, buyer enquiries to estate agents had risen by 56% compared to 2019. The number of sales agreed is up by 9% on the same period in 2019. With such high competition for properties, people are currently selling before buying ensuring they are in a stronger position to proceed with a purchase.
However, available properties are at an all-time low with properties selling quickly and high competition for available properties. The average time for a property to sell is the fastest ever at 36 days and the fastest selling region is Scotland. This figure is a month faster than in February 2020.
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