Agency stock is shifting faster and buyers who hesitated last year are now finding it harder to afford similar priced properties, OnTheMarket claims.
The portal’s latest Property Sentiment Index found on average 64% of properties reached the sold subject to contract (SSTC) stage within 30 days of first being listed for sale on the platform during March compared with 61% in February.
Scotland was the fastest selling region, with 79% of homes SSTC within 30 days of first being listed for sale.
Greater London had the lowest number of properties which were SSTC within 30 days.
The region with the highest proportion of properties that had taken 120 days or longer to SSTC was Greater London (19%) compared with just 7% in Scotland.
The research found that the proportion of homeowners confident that they would make a sale in the next three months was flat at 82% compared with February, while the percentage of buyers who were confident of making a purchase was also level at 85%.
The index found that asking prices on the portal in March, excluding London, rose £12,517 alone to £378,915.
Jason Tebb, chief executive of OnTheMarket, says the number of new listings are increasing but stock isn’t hanging around for long.
He says: “Many of those buyers who hesitated and didn’t make a purchase last year are finding it difficult to afford what they were considering buying previously, such are the price differentials and gains in value over the last 12 months.
“It’s time for buyers to be organised, bold and decisive if they’re serious about moving, especially with demand likely to outweigh supply for a while yet.
“Delays in committing to a purchase could mean the market further runs away from them, or at the very least buyers will suffer from the disappointment of missing out on their chosen property.
“Those selling are of course achieving strong prices but, as we’ve said before, for those moving up the ladder that also means spending a relatively higher price on their next property, as the trading gap is growing ever wider.”
Commenting on the report, Jan Hÿtch, residential and operations partner at Norfolk-based Arnold Keys, says: “The feeding frenzy of February, where every new property coming to market was like throwing a steak into a bowl of piranhas, eased slightly in March.
“More came to market, but not enough to create a healthier balance between supply and demand. Given that scenario, there was no let-up in price increases.
“It’s particularly tough for those renting who sold well last year.
“Having money in the bank, ready to proceed, would mean trumping other buyers in normal market conditions, but now when they’re bidding, they’re one of several in the same position.
“Rising bills mean buyers are starting to consider energy and commuting costs; it’s not significantly influencing purchasing decisions yet, but questions about heating costs and journey distances to amenities are beginning to creep into conversations.”