Buoyant real estate market sees largest monthly rise in asking prices

February saw the largest monthly increase in house prices – in cash terms – according to the latest Rightmove property index.

According to this property index, asking prices in February hit a record high of £348,804, an increase of £7,785, or 2.3% from the previous month. Asking prices are now 9.4% higher than a year ago.

February normally sees an increase in asking prices from January, but this is the biggest monthly cash jump recorded by Rightmove in more than 20 years of compiling this data. This annual increase is the highest recorded since September 2014.

This new record means that average asking prices have now risen by almost £40,000 in the two years since the start of the pandemic. For comparison, prices have risen by just over £9,000 in the previous two years.

The pandemic continues to influence many moves, with this month’s price growth primarily driven by the “second mover” sector, according to Rightmove.

He says London experienced the largest increase in the number of buyers sending inquiries of any region (up 24%), a new price record and its highest annual growth rate since 2016. The real estate market in the capital has been boosted by the apparent end of pandemic restriction and businesses are starting to return to their offices.

Data from Rightmove shows growing activity from both buyers and sellers. The number of potential buyers sending inquiries to agents is 16% higher than the same period last year

Although there is still a mismatch between buyer demand and the supply of available homes, there are early signs of a better balanced market compared to the end of 2021. The number of new sellers offering homes for sale was up 11% from this time last year. January also saw an 11% increase in the number of people requesting a real estate valuation from a real estate agent.

Rightmove’s Director of Real Estate Data, Tim Bannister, says: “The data suggests that people are by no means done with their pandemic-related moves.

“Such a significant societal event means that even two years into the pandemic, people are still reconsidering their priorities and where they want to live.

“While the latest legal restrictions appear to be ending soon and more companies are encouraging a return to the office for at least part of the week, we now have a group of movers looking to return closer to major cities. , or at least at a comfortable distance from their place of work.

“Strong demand and a shortage of available inventory support higher prices and a new record average asking price this month.

However, despite the rising cost of living and rising interest rates, current data shows that demand is growing across the UK, with many people determined to move as we head into the winter season. spring moves.

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