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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Properties selling at record pace as portal predicts gradual price slowdown 

Properties are selling faster than ever either at or above asking price, Rightmove claims.

It comes as the portal revealed that the price of property coming to market hit record highs for the third consecutive month at the start of April.

Rightmove’s April House Price Index showed asking prices hit £360,101 last month, up 1.6% on a monthly basis and 9.9% annually.

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All regions and all market sectors reach new record price highs, for only the second time since 2007, while average prices are up by more than £19,000 over three months, Rightmove said.

Its report noted that while the pace of price rises is slowing – with monthly rises of 2.3% and 1.7% in the previous two months - high demand for limited stock could make any sustained price falls unlikely.

The report found that the average time to sell was 67 days this time in 2019. 

It now stands at a record average of just 33 days before a property is marked as sold subject to contract on Rightmove.

This fastest-ever speed of sale means that 53% of properties that sell are now selling at or over their final advertised asking price, the highest percentage Rightmove has ever measured.

Overall, its analysis shows that properties are achieving 98.9% of the final advertised asking price on average, which is also the highest percentage since its records began. 

Tim Bannister, director of property data for Rightmove, says: “The economic headwinds of strongly rising inflation and modestly rising interest rates are being kept at bay by the even stronger tailwind of property market momentum that has carried over from last year. 

“2021 saw four consecutive monthly price records from April through to July and I would not bet against that being bettered this year as we are already at three consecutive records in April. 

“There are some early signs of an easing off from the frenetic pace of price rises, and buyer enquiries to agents are down by 16% on last year’s stamp-duty frenzy. 

“However incredibly, buyer enquiries are still 65% above the more normal market of 2019 and the number of sales agreed is up 21%. 

While there is growing economic uncertainty, Bannister adds that these statistics suggest there is greater certainty that a property will sell more quickly than ever before and likely at a record price. 

He adds: “It can’t and won’t continue like this, but with the demand and supply imbalance being so out of kilter, it looks like any substantial slowdown will be gradual in coming and be a soft rather than hard landing.

“It seems likely that the supply/demand mismatch will remain for at least the rest of this year. Even with some economic uncertainty, where you live and your home is such a fundamental decision for people that it will remain a priority for many.”

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