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UK Property Asking Prices Reach Ten-Month High

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    UK Property Prices Surge According to Rightmove

    Rightmove data suggests that average asking prices surged in March, marking the highest increase in 10 months. The latest House Price Index by the property portal reveals that the average cost of properties listed for sale rose by 1.5%, reaching £368,118 this month, an increase of £5,279.

    Let’s look at the latest Rightmove House Price Index in more detail.

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      What Does the UK Property Market Look Like According to Rightmove?

      The latest Rightmove average asking price figure surpasses the typical March rise of 1.0% and shows a yearly increase of 0.8%. Despite this rise, average asking prices are still £4,776 lower than the peak observed in May 2023. As such, buy-to-let investors may still be able to find good-value properties throughout the UK.

      According to Rightmove’s analysis, the number of sales agreed upon is now 13% higher than last year, with buyer demand up by 8% compared to the previous year. The larger homes sector and activity in London primarily drive this increase. Specifically, agreed sales in the prime and ultra-prime sectors, less sensitive to mortgage rates, have surged by 18% compared to last year.

      In March, buyer demand for top-of-the-ladder properties is up by 12% compared to last year, outpacing the overall increase of 8% for all property types. That being said, a recent Shawbrook Bank study indicates that many landlords see city centre apartments as a lucrative opportunity due to their convenient locations for many workplaces.

      See More: Interested in UK real estate investment? See our guide on how to invest 100k in the UK property market.

      However, Rightmove warns that the market remains sensitive to pricing and external factors, especially with high mortgage rates. The growth in buyer demand has been dampened by what Rightmove describes as a “lacklustre Spring Budget,” which did not provide direct assistance to first-time buyers or introduce innovations in the mortgage market.

      Additionally, the average time to secure a buyer has increased to 71 days, marking the longest period at this time of the year since 2019, according to Rightmove.

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      How Did the Experts React to the Ten-Month Asking Price High?

      Rightmove director of property science, Tim Bannister, said: “March is typically a strong month for asking price growth, as both buyer and seller activity levels rise and the spring selling season gets underway. However, the stronger-than-usual price growth this March indicates that new sellers are feeling much more confident, with some perhaps being over-optimistic, that there is enough buyer activity and affordability in their local market to achieve a higher price.

      “Despite the above average price increases in this opening three months of the year, asking prices are still £4,776 below their peak in May 2023. For those who can afford to buy and have yet to take action to move this year, this may provide a window of opportunity to buy, as we now seem to be past the bottom of the market. While some sellers are still being over-optimistic with their pricing expectations, there are also more sellers who are aware of the need to be negotiable and realistic, with elevated interest rates compared to recent years still stretching affordability for many buyers.”

      Discover insights into different UK buy-to-let markets with our handy area guides:

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      Dale Barham

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      Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.