UK house prices hit record high as homes sell faster than ever

house prices  A woman walks past a row of houses in London, Britain June 3, 2015. British house prices rose at their slowest annual rate in nearly two years in May, as growth continued to moderate after double-digit increases in the middle of 2014, figures from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Wednesday. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Month-on-month house prices have risen by an average of 1.6%, or £5,537. Photo:Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Average house prices in the UK have hit a new record high of £360,101, according to an index.

The record prices have not slowed down the market, with houses selling faster than ever, twice as quickly as they did in 2019, Rightmove’s house price index shows.

Month-on-month prices have risen by an average of 1.6% (+£5,537), and over the last three months by £19,082. This is the largest three-month price increase the index has ever recorded.

Houses coming up on the market are now taking an average of just 33 days to sell. This time in 2019, the average time to sell was 67 days.

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This fastest-ever speed of sale means that 53% of properties that sell are now selling at or above their final advertised asking price, the highest percentage ever measured by the index.

Overall, the index shows that properties are achieving 98.9% of the final advertised asking price on average, which is also the highest percentage on record.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “With three new monthly price records in a row, 2022 has started with price-rise momentum even greater than during the stamp-duty-holiday-fuelled market of last year. While growing affordability constraints mean that this momentum is not sustainable for the longer term, the high demand from a large number of buyers chasing too few properties for sale has led to a spring price frenzy, a hat-trick of record price months, and the largest price increase for a three-month period Rightmove has ever recorded.

“The strong momentum has carried over from last year and, combined with the impetus of the spring moving season, has delivered the quickest selling market we’ve ever seen. The high speed of the market and competition among buyers when making an onward move will be deterring some owners from putting their homes up for sale. However, if you can secure both a quick sale and a quick purchase then it’s a lot less stressful than the uncertainties of a slower market when finding a buyer for your own home can drag on for months or not happen at all."

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Across Great Britain, and in all of lower, middle, and upper market sectors, properties are at new record price levels.

In Scotland prices are up 2.2% month-on-month to £182,310, with a house in the region usually taking only 22 days to sell.

In Wales, houses are coming to the market with a £252,736 price tag. Despite the 2.7% increase these properties only take 32 days to find a new owner.

London continues to be the most expensive area, with houses commanding an average £677,11 price tag and 51 days before they are sold.

But across the 32 boroughs of London, prices vary from 365,907 in Barking and Dagenham – making it the cheapest borough to buy a house in the capital – and the £1.7m average price for a property in Kensington and Chelsea.

Average asking prices in London. Table: Rightmove House Index
Average asking prices in London. Table: Rightmove House Index

Bannister added: “There are some early signs of an easing off from the frenetic pace of price rises, and buyer enquiries to agents are down by 16% on last year’s stamp-duty frenzy. However incredibly, buyer enquiries are still 65% above the more normal market of 2019 and the number of sales agreed is up 21%.

"While there is growing economic uncertainty, our current market statistics show there is greater certainty that your property will sell more quickly than ever before, and likely at a record price.

"It can’t and won’t continue like this, but with the demand and supply imbalance being so out of kilter, it looks like any substantial slowdown will be gradual in coming and be a soft rather than hard landing.

"It seems likely that the supply/demand mismatch will remain for at least the rest of this year. Even with some economic uncertainty, where you live and your home is such a fundamental decision for people that it will remain a priority for many.”

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