Momentum continues to build in the housing market with several key indicators setting new post-credit-crunch milestones. The net result is that, as we enter the spring market, new sellers’ asking prices are the highest ever recorded in the month of March.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments:
“In today’s turbulent world where economic crises seem more likely to re-appear than disappear, any market upturn will take longer to build home-mover confidence to the point that it starts to feed through to actual transactions. Even those who truly believe that the market has turned a corner may be unable to do anything about it due to lenders’ cautious risk profiling, a significant factor limiting the speed and strength of the recovery. However, with new sellers asking more than ever before as we enter the traditionally busy spring market and an expectation among home-movers of price stability or growth, there is now a bedrock upon which confidence and momentum appear to be building.”
The average price of a property coming to market is at a new March high of £239,710. The previous peak achieved at this time of year was set in 2008, just six months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September of that year. This new March record comes at a time when several of Rightmove’s indicators provide evidence of growing momentum in the market that should deliver an increase in transaction numbers this year. Rightmove’s latest Consumer Confidence Survey of more than 40,000 respondents shows that 60% expect prices to be ‘more or less the same’ in a year’s time and a further 23% believe prices will be higher. Only around one in nine (11%) expect prices to be lower.
“Positive sentiment on the future direction of property prices is a vital element in motivating more people to buy including those looking to trade-up. If they feel confident that prices aren’t going to drop, some will take the plunge, while those who are predicting price rises often judge it wise to act sooner rather than later if they perceive delaying will mean they pay more. Whilst outlooks on property prices differ and remain patchy according to location and property type, overall there appears to be an upturn in confidence”.