UK Property Prices Hit All-Time High…Again
Average house prices in the UK have reached another all-time high; competition among buyers now twice as ferocious as it was just two years ago, demand is aggressively outstripping supply in almost all key regions of the country.
According to the latest house price index from Rightmove, September brought another 0.3% increase to average house prices. This equates to average property price growth of £1,091 and takes the average price of a home in the UK to a new all-time high of £338,462.
This may only represent a £15 increase on the previous record set in July, but is nonetheless impressive performance considering the impending withdrawal of the government’s stamp duty incentive.
“It’s to be expected that the astronomic rates of house price growth seen since the introduction of the stamp duty holiday will now start to subside as we approach the final deadline,” said James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester.
“But don’t be fooled into thinking the market will now deflate like a cheap birthday balloon. Buyer demand is extremely high and property prices will remain robust, largely driven by second and third rung buyers upgrading to larger, higher-value homes.”
Ferocious Competition Fuelling Sky High Property Prices
Commenting on the figures, Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister, highlighted how the definition of ‘buying power’ has shifted on today’s market.
“Competition among potential buyers to secure their next home is now more than double what it was this time in 2019,” he said.
“To be in pole-position in the race for the best property you need to have greater buying power than the rest of the field,”
“That traditionally would mean deeper pockets to outbid other buyers, but in the most competitive market ever, today’s ‘power buyers’ also need to have already found a buyer for their own property, or to have no need to sell at all,”
“Proof that you are mortgage-ready or can splash the cash without needing a mortgage will also help you to get the pick of the housing crop.”
Elsewhere, there are those who believe a small yet significant slowdown in property price growth will gradually make its mark on the sector over the coming months. Demand remains exceptionally high but there are indications of more homes being put up for sale than during the first three quarters of 2021.
In September, around 14% more properties were listed for sale than in August.
Sluggish Performance Continues in London
As has been the case throughout much of the year, the property market in London has seen the most sluggish growth of any region year-on-year.
Whereas the South West, Wales, East Midlands, East of England and South East of England have all seen the average property price increases of more than 8% since the same time last year, average home prices in greater London are up just 0.8% over the same period.