A busy spring is nothing new in the property market.
But a record-breaking spring is certainly something to sit up and take notice of – particularly if you’re thinking of selling right now.
According to Rightmove’s latest Price Index, the gap between buyer demand and seller supply is at its widest for 10 years.
All of which means if you are considering selling up, now is the perfect time to do it…
UK property market news: Spring 2021
One sure-fire way to get a great idea of the current state of play in the property market is to look at how many people are online looking for homes and making contact with estate agents like Whitegates. And the current numbers really do back up the predictions of a strong spring of sales:
• Rightmove reported a 33% rise in visits in January and a 12% increase in buyer enquiries
• Visits to Rightmove were up by 45% in February, with buyer enquiries rising by 18%
The extension to the stamp duty ‘holiday’, meanwhile, has acted as a catalyst for this strong demand and helped the buoyancy of the 2020 market continue into the new year.
The spring budget effect
Rumours that the stamp duty ‘holiday’ would be extended beyond its original end date of March 31 started circulating in the weeks leading up to the spring Budget on March 3. Those rumours were enough to spark a large increase in visits to the Whitegates website:
• We recorded our busiest ever week w/c 14th February, with a 19% increase in traffic compared with the previous month
• February 2021 was the busiest month in the history of Whitegates, with a 25% increase on visits against February 2020
• Friday, February 19 saw a huge peak in traffic – up 29% from July 8, 2020 when the stamp duty ‘holiday’ was originally announced
Demand vs supply
This spring is set to be the strongest sellers’ market for more than 10 years, as buyer demand continues to outstrip the number of properties on the market.
According to Rightmove, the number of buyer enquiries on each property up for sale during February increased by 34% compared with February 2020.
And with sales agreed on two of every three properties currently being sold, buyers desperate to secure the savings on offer from the extended stamp duty ‘holiday’ are essentially queuing up waiting for new properties to come on the market.
Sales, though, were still up by 12% year on year in the first week of March, with Rightmove’s February Price Index also revealing:
• Seven million visits to the property portal, on average, every day in February – a 40% increase on February 2020
• Only a 5% fall in new properties coming to market during the first week of March – suggesting sellers are starting to make their moves
UK property prices: Spring 2021
Asking prices in the UK rose by 0.5% between January and February, taking the UK average asking price to £318,580 – a 3% increase on the previous year.
Prices by market sector
Top of ladder
Regional property prices
Yorks & Humber
UK rental prices: Spring 2021
Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows rental prices across the UK grew by 1.3% in the year to January 2021.
Landlords, according to Rightmove’s most recent Rental Price Tracker, though, are enjoying average rents of £972 per month – a 3.7% rise year on year.
Rightmove will release its first Rental Price Tracker of 2021 at the end of the first quarter, which will reveal how rental prices have performed over the first three months of 2021.
Property market predictions for the rest of 2021
It’s fair to say expectations for the property market in 2020 weren’t high back in March of last year.
But, as it frequently does, the strength of the UK property sector has defied expectations once again.
Price growth at the end of 2020 was 6.6% up on 2019 – despite the enforced spring shutdown and all the uncertainty sparked by the pandemic.
And the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts prices will grow by 4% in 2021, with Rightmove predicting the same increases in value.
It’s a seller’s market… are you ready?
If you’re ready to take advantage record buyer demand, the best place to start is with a free valuation of your home.
And if you have any questions about selling, or buying, during the pandemic, contact your local Whitegates branch, who will be happy to help.