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Ever-more buyers paying over the asking price for properties

For the second time in two working days, a report suggests that ever-higher numbers of buying are paying over the asking price for their homes. 

NAEA Propertymark says that in May, 33 per cent of properties sold for more than the original asking price; this is slightly above the April figure of 32, and is the highest total on record. 

The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 12 in May, which is the same as April.


Year-on-year, this figure is the highest for the month of May in 14 years, since 2007 when the number of sales per branch stood at an average of 13.

The number of sales made to first time buyers stood at 27 per cent in May, which is the same as both March and April.

In terms of supply, the number of properties available per member branch stood at 25 in May, falling from 27 in April; this figure is the lowest recorded in just over 18 years.

This means there is an average of 20 buyers for every available property on the market.

For demand, the average number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch stood at 506 in May. This is an increase from 427 in April, and the highest figure ever on record for May, beating the previous record of 421 in May 2004.

Mark Hayward - Propertymark’s chief policy adviser - says: “It is incredible to see demand for housing continuing to break records and more homes selling for over the asking price than ever as consumers rush to beat the initial stamp duty deadline at the end of the month. 

“With 20 buyers per available property, we are firmly still very much in a strong sellers’ market; properties are being snapped up swiftly and at record high prices.

“However, we anticipate that there will be a much needed rebalancing over the coming months as the remaining stamp duty deadline phases out and people start returning to a semblance of normality, spending money they have been able to save during the pandemic on holidays and more normal activities such as spending to see friends and family.”

On Friday Rightmove reported that no less than 37 per cent of homes early this year sold for the asking price or higher - well above the long term average of 10 per cent recorded since 2005.

This just exceeds the previous single-month highest proportion - 36 per cent - recorded by Rightmove in May 2016.


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