Rightmove – Agreed sales highest since 2015
The number of agreed property sales increased by its largest proportion since 2015, says Rightmove.
According to the firm’s latest report, agreed sales rose by 6.1 per cent in the year to August 2019.
All regions in England, Scotland and Wales recorded an increase in agreed sales, with the North East leading the way, rising by 13.6 per cent. This was followed by the East of England at 12.7 per cent and Yorkshire and the Humber, at 10.1 per cent.
Rightmove’s data also shows that the average asking price for a newly listed property increased by 1.2 per cent.
However, on a monthly basis, this figure dropped by 1 per cent, representing £3,192, leaving the average property in the UK during August at £305,500.
Regionally, Yorkshire and the Humber saw the largest monthly rise at 0.7 per cent, followed by Wales at 0.3 per cent.
On the other hand, the South East recorded a 2.1 per cent fall in this category and the South West declined by 1.7 per cent month-on-month.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside says: “Surprisingly there seems to be a bit of a summer buying spree, despite it normally being a quieter time of year.
“For some reason more buyers have cottoned on to the fact that it can be a good time of year to buy, with less competition from other buyers, and sellers typically more willing to accept a lower price.
“More prospective movers are taking the plunge, getting stuck into deals with sellers more willing to lower their price expectations, and lenders wanting to lend and offering low rates.
“We often see an autumn activity bounce, but perhaps this year’s political activities have brought that forward into a summer surge as buyers have gone bolder and earlier than usual.
North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf comments: “The figures confirm what we are seeing at the coalface – while caution and uncertainty remain in some quarters, demand cannot remain pent-up indefinitely.
“Buyers are looking beyond Brexit and taking advantage of improving affordability, softening prices and greater realism among sellers.
“However, the slow pace and length of transactions as well as the fragile nature of some elements of chains, continue to cause frustration.”
Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy adds: “This latest report indicates that a softening of marketing prices, which is a seasonal trend and certainly no cause for concern appears to be tempting many buyers to take action sooner rather than later.
“Indeed, given the barrage of economic and political headlines over the past month, it is perhaps all the more surprising to see that sales agreed have been at their highest level at this time of year for four years over the past month.
“Another encouraging note to take away from today’s data is that the fears of some in the industry that we may see a pause in the market due to possibility of stamp duty reform in the Autumn budget appear, so far at least, to be unfounded.”
Source: Mortgage Strategy