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Pent-Up Demand Boosts Sales & Prices in Spring Property Market

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    Busy Spring Market Pushes Property Prices to New Record

    Rightmove’s latest index shows positive momentum in the UK property market in May 2024, with more buyers, sellers, and agreed sales than in May last year.

    The Rightmove House Price Index is the largest monthly sample of UK residential property prices and housing market activity, and the data is worth considering when buying property for investment.

    The headline indexes show a 0.8% monthly rise in May, coinciding with increased confidence among sellers during the spring period. Prices are 0.6% higher than May 2023’s figure. This slight rise was enough to push the average asking price into record-breaking territory, as it now stands at £375,131 higher than ever before.

    This is thanks to the momentum of the busy spring selling season, which, according to Rightmove’s analysis, was partially driven by pent-up demand.

    Further Reading: Have you ever thought of buying a property through a limited company? Our property investment guides will help you answer this and other questions, such as ‘Can you live in your buy-to-let property?

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      Property Demand

      Pent-Up Demand Leads to Boost in Sales

      Pent-up demand has led to price growth and a boost in agreed sales. Sales are up 17% during the first four months of 2024 compared to last year, higher than the 12% increase in new sellers entering the market.

      Rightmove reports that pent-up demand from buyers who held off on moving last year is one of the main drivers of this boost in sales activity. This increase has occurred despite high mortgage rates persisting for longer than previously thought.

      The property portal has forecast completed sales transactions to hit around 1.1 million this year, and the positive progress being observed in the first four months of the year suggests that this number will be reached.

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      Sluggish Completion Process Remains a Challenge for Both Sellers & Buyers

      Lead indicators are positive for the current property market, but Rightmove has identified a challenge in the drawn-out period between agreeing to a sale and legal completion.

      Currently, it takes an average of 154 days after agreeing a sale and legal completion. The report points out that with 62 days on average needed to find a buyer before this process can even begin, sellers hoping to be in a new home by Christmas this year need to list their home on the market quickly. This period of time should be taken into consideration in any real estate investing strategies.

      This convoluted process is currently under review by parliament, which is looking into improving the procedure for buying and selling homes in this country.

      Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science, commented: “We expect that the improved market activity levels and conditions this year will result in higher transaction numbers at the end of 2024 than last year. However, the extremely lengthy legal completion process is a frustrating barrier to home-movers converting agreed sales into completed transactions more quickly.”

      Learn more about the UK property market by reading our buy-to-let area guides, which focus on topics such as available investment property in Carlisle and available investment property in Bedford.

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      Jessica Ferris

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      Jessica Ferris is a property writer at RWinvest, helping our readers stay ahead of property market trends with the latest news and statistics.