Rightmove’s recent monthly house price index reported an average price increase of 1.3% (+£3,877) for newly marketed property, a figure topped at this time of year only once since 2007.
This provokes another house price index to coin the phrase “continued resilience”, one welcomed by homeowners and investors, and a strong indicator of an improving market and repairing economic stability.
The index suggests that the 1.3% increase in new-to-market property values matches the monthly increase recorded in last year’s “buy-to-let-boosted” period, which was bolstered by investors aiming for a quick win before the Stamp Duty tax deadline of April 1st.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside states:
“Since the start of the decade, the average March price rise has been 0.9%, so this month’s 1.3% uplift is an indicator of a shortage of suitable property for sale in many parts of the country, with strong demand for the right property at the right price.”
Prices set by house sellers and estate agents are a leading indicator of market sentiment, the general feel of a market and the crowd psychology determined by activity and price movement. While the market appears resilient, the annual increase in price for newly marketed properties has been somewhat slow at just 2.3%, meaning cautiousness is still a prevalent attitude towards the market. In March 2016, year-on-year prices grew at 7.6%, more than three times the current rate.
However, there are signs of a changing market. Where the market is typically driven by the high buy-to-let yields and affordability of the north, or the affluence and international appeal of London and the South, the usual pacemakers seem to be taking a backseat with the Midlands at the forefront.
The fastest pace of price rises in the UK has been achieved in the East Midlands, up 5.7% (+£10,801) year-on-year and 2.1% (+£4,205) this month, closely followed by the West Midlands with the same monthly rate and an annual increase of 4.2% (+£8,658). East of England follows with the next biggest year-on-year rise of 3.9% (+£12,885).
East of England’s resilience and strong performance over the year can be put down to the popularity of London commuter cities such as Peterborough, offering high yield, affordable properties and huge rental savings for tenants and homeowners that opt instead for the daily 50 minute journey to Central London.