Rightmove Signals Increased Buyer Activity and Sales Momentum

Rightmove, the leading property listing platform, has recently reported a notable surge in buyer demand and sales activity, indicating a promising trajectory for the UK property market. While the average asking prices for newly listed properties have seen a commendable increase, there are several underlying factors influencing this upward trend.

According to the latest Rightmove House Price Index (HPI) data, the average price of newly marketed properties has risen by 1.5%, equivalent to £5,279, in the current month. This surge marks the most significant increase in the past 10 months, reflecting the market’s ongoing recovery following a relatively subdued performance in 2023. The positive momentum indicates a growing optimism among buyers and sellers alike, with the potential for increased home purchases compared to the previous year.

Despite the surge in asking prices, the average prices remain £4,776 below the peak observed in May 2023, presenting a favourable window of opportunity for prospective buyers.

Rightmove

The heightened buyer demand, particularly evident in the larger homes sector and London, has resulted in a 13% increase in sales agreements compared to the same period last year.

However, Rightmove cautions that while the market exhibits resilience, it remains sensitive to pricing dynamics and external factors. The recent Spring Budget, lacking direct support for first-time buyers or mortgage market innovations, has tempered the growth in buyer demand to some extent. As a result, properties priced attractively are being swiftly acquired, while those with overly optimistic pricing strategies face prolonged market exposure.

James Briggs, Head of Intermediary Sales at Together, notes that the easing affordability concerns could empower buyers to seize advantageous opportunities as market momentum intensifies. He highlights the persistent ambition for homeownership, particularly among younger demographics, with a notable proportion opting to live with parents to expedite deposit saving.

The recent budget announcement, reducing the higher rate of capital gains tax on residential property sales by 4%, has further incentivised sales among rental investors, potentially releasing more properties into the market for first-time buyers.

Daniel Austin, CEO of Ask Partners, views the current data as indicative of a property sector on the path to recovery, with improved outlook and sustained growth in rent values. He emphasises the importance of property quality and location in driving value, anticipating strategic acquisitions of prime properties in desirable locales.

Phil Lawford, National Account Manager at Saffron for Intermediaries, underscores the positive sentiment permeating the market, buoyed by strong buyer demand and competitive mortgage rates. However, he emphasises the continued importance of brokers in navigating market uncertainties and evolving lending conditions to ensure optimal outcomes for borrowers.

Rightmove’s latest insights signal a resurgence in buyer activity and sales momentum within the UK property market. While challenges persist, such as pricing sensitivity and external economic factors, the prevailing optimism suggests a favourable environment for both buyers and sellers alike. As the market continues to evolve, the role of informed decision-making and strategic financial planning remains paramount for all stakeholders.

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