Biggest monthly house price rise in 10 months

Beautiful Cobbled Street

The housing market has shown promising signs of activity at the start of the year, with momentum continuing as we enter the Spring season.

This month, we’ve observed a notable increase in property prices, with the average national price of properties coming to market rising by 1.5% to £368,118. This surpasses the usual March rise of 1.0% and marks the most significant month-on-month increase in 10 months.

Price fluctuations can serve as a gauge of seller confidence when listing their homes. A surge in activity and sustained monthly price rises often indicate a buoyant property market, as sellers may feel assured of achieving their desired sale prices, especially in the presence of a robust buyer pool.

The heightened activity this March is indicative of the market’s ongoing recovery following a subdued period in 2023. Buyer demand has surged by 8% compared to the same period last year, with a 13% increase in the number of sales agreed. Our property expert, Tim Bannister, comments:

“March typically sees strong asking price growth as both buyer and seller activity levels rise during the spring selling season. However, this year’s stronger-than-usual price growth suggests that new sellers are feeling notably confident, perhaps overly so, about the level of buyer activity and affordability in their local market.”

While increased activity bodes well for the property market, buyers remain highly price-sensitive, taking their time to find the right property amidst higher mortgage rates and stretched affordability. Consequently, homes are staying on the market for longer periods, with the average time to sell being the longest at this time of year since 2019 (71 days).

For those considering listing their homes soon, it’s advisable to heed the guidance of local estate agents, who can provide invaluable insights into setting the right asking price based on the dynamics of your local market. For more detailed insights into house prices in your area, you can refer to our monthly House Price Index or obtain an instant valuation to gauge your home’s worth.

Looking ahead, while we can glean real-time insights into market activity, the sudden pause in activity following the Spring Budget announcement on 6 March highlights the market’s sensitivity to external events. Tim elaborates:

“It’s been a positive start to the year for the market, exceeding many expectations. However, as evidenced by Rightmove’s data capturing the immediate buyer reaction to the Spring Budget’s lack of major housing initiatives, we’re reminded of how swiftly the market landscape can shift in response to economic news or surprises.”

“Sellers may rightly feel more optimistic this year, but with buyer affordability still a concern and higher mortgage rates posing ongoing challenges, a degree of caution and flexibility in pricing is advisable for sellers keen to secure a buyer in the Spring market.”

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