Rightmove: Unexpected mini-boom buoys property market

For sale sign. Photo: Getty

The British housing market has seen a mini-boom, with prices being pushed to a record high.

The average asking price for property hit a record 2.4% higher than pre-coronavirus lockdown levels, which equates to a £7,640 ($9602) premium for real estate sellers.

The average price of property coming to market is £320,265 this month, according to research by housing website Rightmove.

The annual rate of increase is the highest it has been since December 2016.

Alongside this, year-on-year buyer enquiries are up 75% since the start of July.

Some 44% of new listings that came up for sale after the English market reopened on 13 May have already been marked as sale agreed. This is compared with 34% of equivalent dates last year.

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“We expect activity will increase even further as Scotland has not yet been open for a full month, and Wales still has some housing market restrictions in place,” said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst.

“The spring market has now picked up where it left off and has been accelerated by both time-limited stamp duty holidays and by homeowners reappraising their homes and lifestyles because of the lockdown.”

The number of monthly sales agreed is up 15% in England on last year. Alongside this, in the five days after Rishi Sunak announced the government would cut stamp duty, that number jumped to 35% higher than the same time last year.

Rishi Sunak’s decision to cut stamp duty in his mini-statement earlier this month has caused a rush to market for new home buyers.

The average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has suggested, with nearly nine out of 10 people buying a main home this year paying no stamp duty at all.