February Sees the Biggest Rise in Property Prices for Two Decades

Biggest Rise in Property Prices for Two Decades

According to Rightmove, February has seen property prices increase by a whopping 2.3%, which is the highest rise in a month for 20 years. This brings the average house price to a record-breaking £348,804, an increase of £7,785.

Home prices are an incredible 9.5% higher than they were in the same period in 2021, signifying the biggest annual growth rate since September 2014.

Reports from Rightmove suggest that the reason for this price increase can be put down to the “fear of missing out” in the current competitive housing climate among both buyers and sellers. Agents have reported a 16% increase in inquiries from potential buyers.

Data shows property listings are up by 11% when compared to the same period in 2021, indicating that sellers are opting to list their houses for sale before finding a new property to buy.

When compared to January 2021, requests for home valuations were also up by 11%.

The highest annual increase in inquiries has been seen in the capital, and coupled with the biggest property price rises since 2016, London continues to lead the way. This is largely due to the end of the pandemic, resulting in a renewed interest in buyers returning to the city.

Marc von Grundherr, director of London estate agent Benham and Reeves, commented: “There have been numerous signs that the London market is starting to turn in recent months, and it is very likely we’ve now seen the back of the capital’s pandemic house price slump.

“The start of 2022 has been exceptionally busy, and buyer enquiries have shot through the roof as London home buyers try to get in quick and secure a purchase before house prices start to accelerate.

“It’s only a matter of time before this initial buyer demand and the sharp increase in asking prices start to filter through to completed sales, at which point we expect home sellers across the London market will further up their asking prices as a result of this growing market confidence.”

North London estate agent and former RICS chairman, Jeremy Leaf, said: “The market is continuing where it left off at the end of last year. Although Rightmove‘s figures are based on asking, rather than selling, prices, there still seems to be scope for further increases.

“Demand hasn’t been blown off course so far by the weather, rising interest rates, or inflation, as we have recorded a significant proportion of buyers who missed out in some of last year’s competitive bidding returning for another try.

“Listings are increasing, but not fast enough to satisfy appetites for houses in particular, which is inevitably reducing the number of transactions.

“Looking forward, stretched affordability will mean prices cannot keep rising at the same pace, but certainly there’s no sign of any significant softening yet.”