Fierce competition continues among buyers for the record low number of available properties for sale, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index, which reports that agents had an average of 49 properties on their books in August compared with 58 in August 2020.
Buyer demand per property for sale is more than double pre-pandemic levels and there’s a proliferation of ‘power buyers’ – those with a sale under their belt, cash in the bank, or first-time buyers with a mortgage agreed, who are all muscling out would-be sellers.
Tim Bannister (pictured), Rightmove’s director of property data, says being in pole-position in the race for the best property used to mean having deeper pockets to outbid other buyers, but in the most competitive market ever, these power buyers also need to have already found a buyer for their own property, or to have no need to sell at all.
Buyer demand remains very strong, but this is counterbalanced by increasingly stretched buyer affordability, disappearing stamp duty incentives and the summer holiday mini-lull, alongside sluggish price growth in London.
But Rightmove reckons there are early signs of a better-balanced autumn market with more homes coming up for sale; the number of new listings in the first two weeks of September 14% was higher than the last two weeks of August.
Agent Peter Woodthorpe (pictured), director at Readings Property Group in Leicester, agrees that the main issue is lack of stock. He adds: “More sellers need to allow us to find buyers for them on a subject to contract, no sale no fee basis, which in turn will increase the volume of property on the market to everyone’s advantage.”
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