Rightmove has hit back at critics saying it’s no longer the force it used to be by reporting record traffic for January and predicting the Boris Bounce to last into spring.
Its latest monthly asking price snapshot says the price of property coming to market has risen 0.8 per cent this month, equivalent to almost £2,600 on an average home.
Rightmove also says that there’s a boom in buyer activity, evidence for which is its own monthly portal traffic which it says is up by 7.2 per cent on a year ago to a new January record of over 152 million visits.
This comes at a time when some rival portals claim agents are defecting elsewhere.
In its market report out today, Rightmove says demand is already feeding through to the number of sales agreed, which is up by 12.3 per cent year-on-year nationally and a huge 26.4 per cent in London.
Meanwhile new seller numbers have failed to keep pace, despite over 110,000 properties coming to market between January 12 and February 8 - that’s a rise of 2.1 per cent this month compared to the same period last year, making it the first year-on-year rise for 13 months.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, comments: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month.
“The average price of newly-marketed property is just £40 below its all-time high from June 2018, with the typically busy spring market still to come.
“This means that spring buyers are likely to be faced with the highest average asking prices ever seen in Britain. Buyers who had been hesitating and waiting for the greater political certainty following the election outcome may be paying a higher price, but they can now jump into the spring market with renewed confidence.”
Rightmove’s 7.2 per cent rise in monthly traffic in January 2020 compared to the same month of 2019 has been backed up by continued growth in February - traffic in the first week of this month is up by 9.2 per cent on the same week in 2019.
“It’s the first time for over a year that we have seen any sign of a return of seller confidence, albeit lagging behind the surge in numbers of early-bird buyers” explains Shipside.
“Owners coming to market this spring face the best selling prospects for several years, with good demand for the right properties at the right prices. However, sellers should be careful not to get carried away with their pricing, as this is still a price-sensitive market with stretched buyer affordability.
“Those who over-price risk missing out on the window of increased activity that could run at least until we approach the next Brexit deadline at the end of the year. Now could be an excellent time to get on the market and sell, seizing the opportunity of achieving a quick sale at a decent price.”