Rightmove has published its latest house price index at February 2017. The headline news is that the annual rate of house price increase is at its lowest since April 2013, whilst demand remains strong. The annual rate of increase is +2.3%.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: ‘While the prices of goods in shops are rising at a faster rate, the pace of price rises in property coming to the market is slowing. They’re still 2.3% higher than a year ago, but perhaps we’re approaching the territory where many buyers are unable or unwilling to pay what sellers are asking, given the negative combination of rises in the cost of living, tighter lending criteria, and a dose of Brexit uncertainty. The housing market has had a long sprint since April 2013 when the annual rate was last below this level, so it’s not surprising that upwards price pressure is running on tired legs with average prices today being 23% or nearly £60,000 higher than they were then. This surge in the cost of home-ownership highlights some of the issues referred to in the government’s recent White Paper on fixing the broken housing market.’
Rightmove also report record visits to their site for January 2017, up 3% on January 2016 when the market was boosted by the buy-to-let approaching deadline.
Miles advises that the slower rate of price increases makes it riskier for sellers to over-price their property and that a sale is more likely to be achieved if a property is priced right when it first comes to market. Over-priced properties will stand out as poorer value for longer, diminishing interest from potential purchasers.
Miles’ advice is exactly in line with the I Am the Agent ethos. We believe that sellers seeking a reasonably speedy sale should be careful to showcase their property in the best light possible from the moment it goes on the market. The time that it is launched on the market is when it will attract the most interest, when mailing notifications are sent out, and it so important to make the most of the initial impact.
At I Am the Agent, we offer sellers free pro photos in our IATA Essential sales package. These really make a difference in showcasing the property to potential purchasers and will often be the ‘stand-out’ feature that makes searchers click through for a better look.
Here is the geographical breakdown of average prices, indicating the monthly and annual changes.It is early days yet, but Rightmove’s prediction for 2017 was that markets are likely to remain strong, with robust demand (subject to regional variations). There is the ever-present problem of insufficient housing stock in the UK to cover demand, but affordability is going to be stretched, as austerity hits wages and low interest rates affect income, leading to the acute price-awareness in potential purchasers picked up in the report.
Traditionally, the asking price trends increase over the summer months, and Rightmove’s national price trend data shows that 2016 was no different and at present the market is still on the upward trajectory.
The London market continues the usual new year price rebound. The average asking price of newly-marketed properties is up by 2.6% (+£16,163) on the previous month, with all of the increase being down to more expensive and more seasonally volatile Inner London (+5.2%, +£40,674) as Outer London fell (-0.1%, -£461).
You can see all Miles Shipside’s comments and the full Rightmove house price index report here.
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