Property asking prices rise for third consecutive month, says Rightmove

Posted on Monday, March 18, 2024

Greater buyer demand has helped push up the average price of newly marketed properties by 1.5%, or £5,279, this month to £368,118, new figures from Rightmove show.

The positive start to the year continues, with the latest hike in asking prices  higher than the historic average March increase of 1% and the biggest for 10 months as the market continues its recovery after a muted 2023.

The positive start to the year continues, paving the way for a greater number of home purchases than last year, with average asking prices still £4,776 below the May 2023 peak, which suggests that some buyers continue to see a window of opportunity to purchase property.

The number of sales being agreed is now 13% higher than at this time last year, while demand is up 8% year-on-year.

However, despite a better-than-expected start to the year, the market remains sensitive to pricing and external events. Rightmove’s real time data shows the growth in buyer demand was tempered somewhat by a lacklustre Spring Budget, with no direct help for first-time buyers or mortgage market innovations.

Meanwhile, the average time to find a buyer is 71 days, the longest at this time of year since 2019. Attractively priced properties are quickly being cherry-picked, but over-optimistically priced sellers are taking longer to find a buyer

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said: “March is typically a strong month for asking price growth, as both buyer and seller activity levels rise and the spring selling season gets underway. However, the stronger than usual price growth this March indicates that new sellers are feeling much more confident, with some perhaps being over-optimistic, that there is enough buyer activity and affordability in their local market to achieve a higher price.

“Despite the above average price increases in this opening three months of the year, asking prices are still £4,776 below their peak in May 2023. For those who can afford to buy and have yet to take action to move this year, this may provide a window of opportunity to buy as we now seem to be past the bottom of the market.

“While some sellers are still being over-optimistic with their pricing expectations, there are also more sellers who are aware of the need to be negotiable and realistic, with elevated interest rates compared to recent years still stretching affordability for many buyers.”

Via @PropertyIndustryEye