The average asking prices are 2.4% higher than in March pre-lockdown. The number of sales agreed this month is also now exceeding last year’s figures in England, Scotland and Wales. Almost half (44%) of new listings that came up for sale in the first month after the market re-opened on the 13 May have already been marked as sale agreed, compared to 34% at the equivalent time last year.
The number of monthly sales agreed is up 15% in England on last year, and in the five days after the stamp duty announcement it jumped to 35% up on the same days a year ago. Total available stock has also reportedly recovered to being 13% down in Britain following a steep decline, with Rightmove claiming that the stamp duty holiday may encourage more sellers to the market to ensure they have ample time before the 31 March deadline.
Miles Shipside, resident property expert at Rightmove, said: “The busy until interrupted spring market has now picked up where it left off and has been accelerated by both time-limited stamp duty holidays and by homeowners reappraising their homes and lifestyles because of the lockdown.
“The strength of buyer demand has contributed to record prices, with the 3.7% annual rate of increase being the highest for over three and a half years.
“There is a window of opportunity for sellers to come to market and to find a buyer who is tempted by the stamp duty savings. Although March next year may sound like a long time away, in reality sellers need to find a buyer before Christmas, to allow a further three months for completion of the legal process to beat the deadline.
“While property is selling much faster than a year ago, it’s important not to over-price and miss this window. It’s still a price sensitive market with buyers having limits on what they are able to borrow, and the uncertain economic outlook making them more cautious.”
This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.