There are currently twice as many buyers as there are for-sale homes in the United Kingdom.

Spring 2022 = Strongest Sellers’ Market in Years

According to the most recent data from Rightmove, the average list price of a residential property in the United Kingdome saw the largest average monthly price rise of +1.7% since March 2004.  This monthly price rise of 1.7% translated into +L5,760 or a total of L354,564 or US$466,572.

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Average asking prices year-over-year in the UK jumped +10.4% in March.  Only London and Scotland registered less than 10% price growth.

Low Inventory Creating Increasing Competition

There are double the number of buyers than there are homes available to buy throughout the United Kingdom.  Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said, “The proportion of properties finding a buyer within the first week is also at an all-time high for this time of year, so sellers with an appropriately priced and well-presented property can expect a shorter marketing period than the norm.”

Essentially, available for-sale properties are finding buyers at a record pace.

Guy Gittins, CEO of the estate agency Chestertons said, “Not even halfway into March, we had already witnessed an +11% increase in buyer inquiries and +16% uplift in sales compared to the same time period last year.  This is an early indicator for the spring market to be extremely buoyant.  Known as the ‘spring bounce,’ we anticipate more vendors to put their properties up for sale over the next few weeks, which will improve the currently competitive market conditions for house hunters.”

Regional Prices in UK

England’s North East region saw the highest monthly rise in prices thus far.  Monthly price rises hit +3.6% with average asking prices hitting L473,922 and L246,104 respectively. The South East and Wales both saw monthly price gains of +3.3% or L175,749.  London’s monthly prices ticked down slightly by -0.4% compared to February.

However, luxury Outer London home prices have already increased +3.2% in 2022…the strongest price gains since February 2016, according to a recently published report by Knight Frank.  Tom Bill, head of UK residential research with Knight Frank said that this strong y/y price growth of +3.2% reflects robust demand for space and greenery.

Both Rightmove’s Bannister and Knight Frank’s Bill anticipate that prices in prime central London will substantially increase “with a notable upswing” once international travel resumes.

Market Uncertainty Looms

Meanwhile, as sellers are licking their chops and buyers are frustrated, Rightmove’s Bannister said it’s too soon to say how the “abhorrent and devastating war in Ukraine will affect the UK housing market.”  Bannister predicts rising interest rates and inflation may cause the market to begin normalizing after the summer.

Bannister said, “There are headwinds that seem likely to remove the current market froth in the second half of the year.  We’ve just seen interest rates rise again, and there are further incremental increases forecast for the year which will raise mortgage rates for some.  Our forecast is that overall transaction numbers for 2022 will revert back to pre-pandemic levels, as the market returns to a more even balance.”

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