As we enter the spring home-selling season, any predictions of a slowdown in the property market have all but vanished. In February, asking prices in England and Wales increased by 1.1%, with prices in the Southwest and West Midlands increasing by 1.8% and 1.9% respectively. *
According to Home.co.uk’s most recent market data, the market is unusually fast for this time of year, with the average time on the market for unsold property in England and Wales falling to 70 days, which is 43 days less than in March 2021, and the lowest since 2008. *
According to the property website, the market has sped to an incredible pace and prices are continuing to rise. The total number of properties for sale has increased marginally, but is still relatively low, around half of what it was in 2019. So far, the UK property market in 2022 seems to be an exact copy of the market in 2021.
More global instability, coming so soon after the economic devastation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, will only serve to energise the market even more. After all, bricks and mortar have always been regarded as a safe investment in times of political and economic turmoil. Any hopes that new builds will relieve some of the demand strain on existing stock are disappearing as supply chain issues, along with inflation, hinder the construction industry’s growth.
Despite rising mortgage interest rates, demand continues to outstrip supply, causing asking prices to skyrocket. While moderate price increases are typical in the spring, February’s exceptional spike of 1.1% Nationwide is a monument to this situation, with certain areas of the UK seeing increases nearly double that number. *
Given the Bank of England’s plans for more interest rate hikes the rate of take-up of properties by individual and corporate buyers is astounding. In England and Wales, the average time on the market for unsold property has been reduced to only 70 days, which is the lowest level since 2008, just before the financial crisis. This shows how fast the UK property market is currently and suggests that more price increases are inevitable.
Rents are also rising fast. The UK’s mix-adjusted average has increased by 10.1% in the last year. Most of this gain is due to a rebound in Greater London rentals, which have increased by 27.3% on a yearly basis, despite a decrease in lettings supply. In comparison to the year before, there were just under half as many properties to let on the market. *
London’s property market continues to bounce back
The property market in London continues to make a comeback as the world adjusts to life post-pandemic, with house prices continuing to drive up. Prices have risen particularly fast in regions such as Richmond, Wandsworth, and Islington, as the pandemic has triggered a ‘race for space’. **
This has given the opportunity for people wanting to buy in the heart of the city, as some areas are currently more affordable in comparison to previous years.
The pandemic has forced many people to reconsider their home buying needs. More room, a larger garden and home office are all things that buyers want. This has caused property prices in London to skyrocket.
A combination of low rates, the stamp duty holiday, and excess savings amid the pandemic are all factors that have drove property values higher, notably in London and the Southeast.
The average home in London now costs £664,400, according to the latest house price index published by property portal Rightmove. *** In February, the average time it takes to sell a home in London fell from 68 days to 57 days, which is another indicator that market activity in the city is ramping up. ****
*According to recent data by Home.co.uk
**According to Coutts
*** According to Rightmove
****According to the London Evening Standard