Asking Prices for Properties up £6,000 on Pre-Lockdown Averages

house asking prices rise lockdown

Lockdown has taken its toll on the UK’s housing market, but evidence would suggest things are gradually returning to normal, at least in terms of property values, which are heading in the right direction following an extensive period of stagnation.

According to the latest figures released by Rightmove, which is the UK’s leading online property portal, average house prices in England are up £6,000 on their pre-lockdown averages. These numbers suggest that the “flood of pent-up demand” predicted to hit the market as lockdown restrictions are eased may already be underway.

Hundreds of thousands of property transactions are known to have been put on hold during lockdown, and as of only a few weeks ago, these sales were once again allowed to proceed by the UK government.

An unprecedented, though expected, rush

Rightmove has noted that contact requests and general activity among buyers and sellers not only improved but actually surpassed all previous daily records when the market officially reopened.

“The surprise reopening of the market with only a few hours’ notice meant many estate agents were not ready for the sudden rush of buyers,” the property portal reported.

Rightmove also stated that the ten busiest days in the history of its website were recorded during May and June 2020, with a cumulative on-page time of nearly 1 million hours on June 6 alone.

Helped by pent-up demand, sellers are gradually pushing average property prices upwards in key areas across the UK.  This week, the average property price is approximately £6,000 higher than it was at the beginning of lockdown, which is an increase of approximately 1.9%.

The government had previously prohibited all house moves that were not considered essential, only allowing non-essential property transactions to take place as recently as mid-May.

Asking prices: predominantly paid

Another interesting finding from the report was that Rightmove revealed that a surprising proportion of buyers are demonstrating a willingness to pay almost full prices. Even in the midst of a period of economic uncertainty, the average homebuyer in June is negotiating a 2.3% discount, which is much better than the 3.4% recorded in February prior to the lockdown.

“England is getting moving again,” Rightmove reported.

“There are no signs of panic selling or even a price dip. On this evidence, buyers may now be trying to exchange quickly.”

Rightmove also confirmed a change in priority for the average UK home buyer, as homes with gardens now account for more property searches than ever before, and previous best performers such as studio flats have now fallen completely out of the top five.

Rightmove and other industry experts are advising would-be buyers and sellers to take advantage of the current situation.