Buyer enquiries rise 15%: Rightmove

Buyer enquiries rise

Buyer enquires increased by 15 per cent between December 2019 and January 2020, Rightmove’s latest house price index shows.

Average asking prices across the UK rose by 2.3 per cent over the same time frame. This has resulted in the average asking price rising from £300,025 to £306,810.

There has also been a 7.3 per cent growth in the number of sales agreed this month.

In the first-time buyer market, the average asking price increased by 1.6 per cent to £193,103.

Both the ‘second steppers’ and ‘top of the ladder’ markets also saw a rise in the average asking price between December and January, increasing by 1.7 per cent 3.1 per cent to £275,947 and £522,095, respectively.

Regionally, London noted the greatest uplift in average asking prices on a monthly basis, rising by 2.7 per cent to £350,607. This was followed by the West Midlands, which recorded a rise of 2.6 per cent to £230,222.

In contrast, Wales saw the largest decline in the average asking price over the same time frame, falling by 0.9 per cent to £193,106. Scotland followed, falling by 0.8 per cent to £149,664.

Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside says: “These statistics seem to indicate that many buyers and sellers feel that the election result gives a window of stability.

“There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand, which suggests we are in store for an active spring market.

“One factor behind the upwards price pressure has been the shortage of property coming to market in many areas of the country, with some would-be sellers postponing their moves until they judge the outlook to be more certain.

“First-time buyer activity has remained strong, buoyed by cheap interest rates and the high costs of renting. The downside of this high demand is upwards price pressure, with the average price of typical first-time buyer property hitting a new record high. “However, the annual rate of increase remains fairly modest at 1.6 per cent, less than the rate of growth in average earnings, so affordability has actually improved a little for first-time buyers.”

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