Property asking prices increase in all regions of UK in October

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Every region of Britain saw house asking price records broken in October, as the national average jumped nearly £5,000. 

It was the first time that every region broke asking price records since March 2007, according to Rightmove’s monthly house price index.

The property portal said this ‘full house’ of price increases was an ‘extremely rare event’.

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The typical price of a property coming to market jumped by 1.8 per cent or £5,983 compared to the previous month, the biggest rise at this time of year since October 2015.

Asking prices are now at an average of £344,445, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to October 2020. 

The North West and Wales both saw especially strong increases in asking prices amounting to 2.3 per cent. They reached £232,639 and £237,830 respectively. 

The South West and London both saw a 1.9 per cent monthly change, with prices reaching £359,906 and £650,683.  

The number of sales being agreed was up more than 15 per cent, compared to the same time in 2019.

Prices also increased in all property market sectors. First-time buyers saw asking prices up 0.8 oer cent to £210,672, while second steppers saw an increase of 1.4 per cent to £315,486 and those at the top of the ladder saw a 1.7 per cent rise to £630,819. Those figures exclude Central London, however. 

Rightmove put the increase down to buyers wanting to secure their new homes ahead of a potential base rate rise, which is being predicted by some for the end of the year. 

If interest rates increase, mortgage rates will go up from their current record lows.

This is already happening in some cases as lenders move to pre-empt the rise. 

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The stamp duty holiday had previously been driving activity and house prices, but this expired at the end of September.

The continued price rises offer an opportunity for those who are downsizing, or do not need to buy another property, to sell up to cash out.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: ‘Competition for property for sale remains hot this autumn, with average prices jumping by almost £6,000 in the month. 

‘Although more properties are coming to market, the level is still not enough to replenish the stock that’s being snapped up. 

‘Consequently, new price records have been set across the board, with every region of Great Britain and all of the three market sectors of first-time buyer, second-stepper and top of the ladder hitting all-time highs.’

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Also driving up house prices is the lack of new housing stock coming to the market, though Rightmove said the situation was slowly improving.

Its latest weekly snapshot showed that the number of new sellers coming to market was down on the same period in 2019, but only by 3.2 per cent.

Bannister added: ‘This ‘full house’ is an extremely rare event, happening for the first time since March 2007. 

‘The stock shortages started after the first lockdown, and they look set to continue with the underlying housing market fundamentals remaining strong, and an additional incentive to buy and fix your mortgage interest rate before a widely expected rate rise.’

In these ‘full house’ market conditions, with many homes being snapped up quickly and sellers having a choice of competing buyers, those buyers who have already sold their own property subject to contract or have nothing to sell are being favoured.

This has led some to put their own home on the market before they have identified a new property.  

Bannister said: ‘2021 has been the year of the power buyer, with those in the most powerful position to proceed quickly and with most certainty ruling the roost over other buyers who have to sell but have yet to come to market. 

‘One agent’s analysis that 87 per cent of their sales agreed were snapped up by buyers who were already in a position to proceed is fairly typical of reports from many agents.’ 

Despite the hot market, most homes still sell below the asking price. 

According to the latest Halifax house price index, the typical sale price is £267,587

Director of estate agent Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, added:  ‘With the market remaining particularly buoyant, those entering with a property to sell are pricing high and this has caused yet further growth where asking prices are concerned.

‘While initial asking price expectations are perhaps a little over-optimistic, to say the least, a lack of stock to satisfy demand means that homes are selling fast and for a very good price.’ 

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