The first weeks of the New Year property market have begun well with increased numbers of buyers looking for homes and asking prices rising, says Rightmove.
Its monthly snapshot of the property market reveals that the number of visits to its online listings of sales properties is up 9% so far this month compared to last year. Also, asking prices for newly-listed homes are up 0.7% compared to last year.
But Rightmove warns that, despite the rise in interest during the New Year, buyers are extremely wary on price, and that the number of sales agreed during the final three months of last year was down by 5.5% compared to the same period the year before.
Rightmove also hints that while in more normal times the current stretched buyer affordability and uncertain political outlook might have seen prices tumbling, a surge in first time buyers following the recent Stamp Duty reductions, plus a lack of supply in the market, is instead pushing prices up.
“Considering some of the gales that buffeted the market in the latter part of 2017, these early readings for 2018 show that there is currently a good following wind of search activity,” says Rightmove Director Miles Shipside (pictured, left).
“To keep this year’s initial buyer momentum with you rather than against, serious sellers should note that all regions are currently selling at a slower rate than a year ago, indicating choosier buyers.
“Those selling to ‘quick-off-the-block stamp-duty-saving first-time buyers’ are set to have a busier first quarter than those trying to sell in other sectors.”
Chris Chapman, Divisional Managing Director of Estate Agency at Andrews (pictured, right), says: “Our sales data so far this year suggests a strong return to house buying activity particularly evident across our network in Oxfordshire and the South West where buyers are showing significant interest in three-and four-bedroom family homes.”