The latest Rightmove asking price index shows the extraordinary market and amazing times we are living through.
The average price of property coming to market increased 1.1 per cent in the past month, to an all-time national record of £323,530.
This is 5.5 per cent higher than a year ago, the highest annual growth rate for over four years - equivalent to over £16,000.
However, the portal warns some sellers are now becoming greedy and wanting too much.
The momentum caused by pent-up and new demand has led to new records in several key metrics, says Rightmove, and as a result it's revised its forecast for annual growth to around seven per cent.
“The forecasting rulebook has been rewritten in this extraordinary year, with predictions of a post-lockdown price plunge in quarter three failing to materialise, and Rightmove’s original forecast in December last year of a two per cent annual rise for 2020 being too timid” the portal says in a statement this morning.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data says: “We predict the annual rate of growth will peak by December at around seven per cent higher than a year ago.
“Many buyers seem willing to pay record prices for properties that fit their changed post-lockdown needs, though agents are commenting that some owners’ price expectations are now getting too optimistic, and not all properties fit the must-have template that buyers are now seeking.
“Not only is the time left to sell and legally complete before the March 31 stamp duty deadline being eaten away by the calendar, but more time is also needed because the sheer volume of sales is making it take longer for sales that have been agreed to complete the process.
“Sellers and their agents should therefore be wary of being too optimistic on their initial asking price, as whilst activity levels continue to amaze there are some signs of momentum easing off from these unprecedented levels.”
Despite the effective market closure between late March and mid-May, two per cent more sales have been agreed so far this year than in the same period in 2019.
As well as the new price record, September saw three new records for market activity, with figures better than ever previously recorded by Rightmove:
- The average time to sell is now 50 days, 12 days faster than the same period last year;
- For the first time ever, agents now have more properties marked as sold than available for sale;
- Finally, the number of sales reported by agents also set a new record, 70 per cent higher than the same period a year ago.
Rightmove also recorded a 49 per cent increase in traffic in September compared to last year, the biggest year-on-year jump since 2006.
So far in October the number of sales agreed is still 58 per cent up on last year.
The number of active buyers contacting agents also continues to run at a high level, up 66 per cent in September compared to 12 months ago, and only marginally down on the peak of 67 per cent seen in July.