Rightmove’s first housing market report of 2022 starts when last year’s ended - on a high.
The average price of property coming to market jumps by 0.3 per cent this month to £341,019, which is 7.6 per cent higher than a year ago and is the highest annual rate of price growth recorded by Rightmove since May 2016.
First-time buyer asking prices hit a new record of £214,176 after a monthly jump of 1.4 per cent.
Strong demand and continuing low numbers of available homes for sale set up the housing market frenzy to continue into the start of 2022, with early-bird sellers benefitting from increased buyer competition.
The number of buyers enquiring about homes is 15 per cent higher than the same time last year, yet the number of available homes for sale per estate agency branch drops again to a new record low of just 12.
As a result, Rightmove calculates that competition among buyers is almost double what it was at this time last year.
However, the portal reports that there are early signs that more property choice is on its way, with the first working week of 2022 being the busiest start of the year ever for people requesting agents to come out and value their homes: the number of home valuation requests is 44 per cent up on the same period last year, and 48 per cent up on the same period in 2020.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, comments: “New Year sellers and buyers have been quick off the mark this year, with Rightmove recording the highest ever number of Boxing Day sellers coming to market.
“These early-bird sellers who got themselves ready to come to market are now benefitting from the busiest start to the year that we’ve ever recorded, with the number of prospective buyers enquiring about homes up 15% on this time last year.
“All of the signs suggest that prices are likely to continue to rise until more choice is available. Three regions are in most urgent need of new supply, the East Midlands, South West and South East of England, as they are now at unsustainable rates of annual price growth above 10 per cent.”
He continues: “Almost 40 per cent of people enquiring about a home who have a property to sell say that they are yet to put it on the market. In the current market, where they are competing against others who are able to move more quickly, this is likely to mean they’ll miss out on the home they want. To put yourself in the best possible position to proceed, you should become a ‘power buyer’, by making sure your current home is on the market or preferably sold subject to contract first, before starting the search for your new home.”