Average house price soars nearly £8,000 in a month
The average house price across Britain has soared by almost £8,000 in the space of a month.
February’s jump to £7,785 is the biggest monthly increase in cash conditions recorded by Rightmove in over 20 years of reporting.
This means the average asking price across Britain now stands at a record £348,804.
The new record means average asking prices have now risen by nearly £40,000 in the two years since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, from just over £9,000 in the previous two years.
The sharp increase comes at a time when households are squeezed by soaring living costs, especially for energy, food and fuel.
The average asking price for a home is 9.5% higher than a year ago, marking the highest annual growth rate since September 2014, Rightmove said.
Rightmove said February’s price growth was driven by the “second stepper” sector – made up of buyers who may need more space and are now ready to move out of their first home.
While some workers are encouraged to return to the office, London has seen a particularly large increase in home buying inquiries, Rightmove said.
Buyer demand is typically 16% higher than it is now in 2021, Rightmove said.
Tim Bannister, Director of Real Estate Data at Rightmove, said: “We now have a group of movers looking to return closer to major cities, or at least within comfortable commuting distance of their place of work.
“Strong demand and a shortage of available inventory support higher prices and a new record average asking price this month.
“The rising cost of living is undoubtedly affecting the finances of many people, especially those trying to save enough for a deposit to scale up or trade.
“However, despite rising costs and rising interest rates, current data shows that demand is growing across Britain, with many people determined to move as we head into the moving season of spring.”
Recent research from Rightmove found that competition among buyers is usually the strongest in March, giving potential sellers the chance to have the best chance of selling their home quickly at a good price.
Mr Bannister added: “It looks like the rapidly changing market has really hit sellers this month, with a number of those who are also buyers putting themselves in the best position to secure their dream home by becoming a “power buyer” and put their own home on the market first.
“This in turn leads to an increase in new listings compared to last year, giving the existing pool of buyers a new choice.
“Fear of missing out on their dream home is really driving the market right now as movers look to do whatever they can to avoid the disappointment of being too slow to secure their ideal property. buyers are sending more inquiries for available homes than usual, and doing everything they can to get to the top of the list.”