Asking prices across the UK rose in all areas except the south-west over the past month, with the average property listed on Rightmove now priced at £300,001, while the number of homes on the market with estate agents has also increased.
This month the average asking price for properties listed on Rightmove increased by 0.8%, a slowdown from the 10-year monthly average of 1.6% but still a sign of confidence in the market. Every area in the UK saw an increase in asking prices, apart from the south-west which saw a small fall of £131.
In terms of visitors, Rightmove had a record 141 million visitors to its website in the past month, a clear indication that buyers and sellers are currently extremely active in the market, which is supported by the speed with which properties are selling in some areas. The top places where homes are flying off the market include Livingstone in West Lothian, and three areas in the Midlands – Rugby, Nuneaton and Corby.
The number of homes on the market with estate agents has also seen a 2% uptick compared to the same time last year, which is a positive for the industry after it has seen two years of very low levels in a lot of areas across the UK.
Cautious optimism among sellers
Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, says that the positive start to 2018 has been an improvement on last year’s figures, and although the increase in asking price is only moderate in comparison to the average monthly rise, he believes it is wise for sellers to show caution in the face of current market conditions.
The contrast between London and other regions could also have somewhat skewed the overall average.
Shipside added: “The average price of newly-marketed property in the Midlands is up by over five per cent compared to a year ago, a marked contrast to parts of London and its commuter belt.
“Many buyers in the Midlands are willing and able to pay more to secure their future home in a faster selling market, resulting in Midlands prices rising three times faster than the national average.”
One thing to consider is that over past couple of months, according to research from Zoopla, the gap between asking price and final selling price has been growing, so the price that the newly listed homes are put on Rightmove at may not be an accurate representation of the actual amount they are sold for. However, the huge upswing in both buyer and seller interest on the website does indicate that housing market activity remains strong across the UK.