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Investor Briefing: Asking Prices up despite Affordability and Interest Rate woes

The average price of property coming to the market for sale rose by 0.8% this month (+£2,807) to a new record of £375,131, says Rightmove.

May is typically a strong month for price growth, with new price records having been set in May in 12 of the previous 22 years.

Price growth is still led by the largest-homes, top-of-the-ladder sector, with prices in this sector up by an average of 1.3% compared with last year.


However, since the last price record set a year ago in May 2023, average prices are only 0.6% higher overall, a reminder that the market remains very price-sensitive.

A Rightmove spokesperson says: “Some predicted that property prices would suffer sharp falls and take a while to recover following the Bank of England increasing the Base Rate up to 5.25%, where it has remained since August 2023.  

“However, the momentum of the Spring selling season has exerted enough upwards price pressure to reach a new record asking price.

“The top-of-the-ladder sector is still leading the way, while from a regional perspective the North East, with the cheapest average prices in Great Britain, has seen the strongest price growth.”

The property website says pent-up demand is a key driver behind increased buyer and seller activity, despite mortgage rates remaining elevated for longer than anticipated.

In the first four months of the year, the number of sales being agreed between buyers and sellers is 17% higher than in the same period in 2023, outstripping the 12% increase in the number of new sellers coming to market.

Like pricing activity, these trends are being driven most by the top-of-the-ladder sector, made up of four bedroom detached and five bedroom plus properties.

A lack of available homes for sale in this sector during the pandemic years, together with the rapid rise, and subsequent volatility of mortgage rates in the post-mini-Budget period, meant that activity in this sector was particularly susceptible to some potential movers taking a step back.

Now, with mortgage rates more stable albeit still high, and greater buyer choice, many who had postponed their moving plans in this sector appear to be returning.


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