Rightmove is reporting a mini-boom that was existing even before the stamp duty holiday - enough to propel average asking prices to a record high.
The headlines from the portal’s latest market snapshot are striking:
- average asking price is up 2.4 per cent from March, the equivalent of £7,640;
- the current 3.7 per cent annual increase is the highest since December 2016;
- year-on-year buyer enquiries up 75 per cent in Britain since early July;
- some 44% of new listings up for sale in the first month after the English market opened on May 13 have already been marked as sale agreed;
- the number of monthly sales agreed is up 15 per cent in England on last year, and in the five days after the stamp duty announcement it jumped 35 per cent up on the same days a year ago;
- total available stock has now recovered to just 13% down in Great Britain.
Rightmove housing market analyst and commercial director Miles Shipside says: “Overall buyer enquiries are up by an incredible 75 per cent year-on-year in Britain and we expect activity will increase even further as Scotland has not yet been open for a full month, and Wales still has some housing market restrictions in place.
“The busy until interrupted spring market has now picked up where it left off and has been accelerated by both time-limited stamp duty holidays and by homeowners reappraising their homes and lifestyles because of the lockdown. The strength of buyer demand has contributed to record prices.”
He adds: “Although March next year may sound like a long time away, in reality sellers need to find a buyer before Christmas, to allow a further three months for completion of the legal process to beat the deadline.
“While most first-time buyers will not benefit from the stamp duty holiday, as they were already exempt from stamp duty on purchases of up to £300,000, many will benefit from lenders now starting to bring back first-time buyer mortgages for up to 90 per cent of the purchase price.
“Lower-deposit lending helps to boost buyer activity on the all-important first rung of the ladder, which in turn helps to boost the numbers of second-steppers who are able to trade up, and so also enables others higher up the chain to move.”