According to Rightmove, house prices in the South East have increased by 2.6% since March, and the annual change is 2.3%. The average asking price in our region from 13th May – 4th June is 97.5%, an increase from 96.6% in February.
This data suggests the housing market is off to a strong start, as a result of pent-up demand during the lockdown period. One hundred seventy-five thousand sellers were missing who would have put their properties on the market between March and May, but instead have come to market since it reopened.
Chris Sawyer, Director of Sawyer & Co, commented: “It is fantastic to see such positive news from the industry following a difficult time. I believe we can continue this level of success for the remainder of the year as buyers and sellers become more confident in the housing market.”
The success of the housing market is not only in our region; Rightmove data shows that nationally the average asking price of property coming to market is up by an average of 1.9% (£6,266) compared to March before the housing market was put on hold.
There have been no signs of panic selling or a price dip, which is particularly significant for those who had agreed a sale before lockdown and may have been concerned that their buyer would try to re-negotiate with a reduced offer. Instead, there are signs of upward price pressure as opposed to downwards, and buyers hoping to negotiate hard may find their offer rejected in the current market.
When the housing market was initially closed as a result of lockdown, new sales were down 94% from the previous year. In the period 13th May – 4th June this figure reached 36% and is now down to just 3% on Friday 5th June in comparison to the same day in 2019.
New buyers have come to market after feeling unhappy with their existing homes during lockdown and are looking for more living space and a bigger garden. Rightmove have had an increased amount of traffic on their site, with the busiest day (Saturday 6th June) seeing users spend a total 955,000 hours online.
This increased browsing has generated enquiries, as the number of people phoning and emailing estate agents hit a new daily record on 8th June, 40% above the level seen in early March. Since the reopening of the market, we have certainly had an increase in the amount of interest in our properties here at Sawyer & Co.