October sees biggest monthly price rise since 2015

The price of property coming to market jumped by 1.8% in October, amounting to nearly £6,000, Rightmove’s house price index shows.

This is the biggest price rise at this time of year since October 2015, and suggests the market hasn’t run out of steam despite the expiry of the stamp duty holiday.

The number of sales being agreed was up 15.2% in September, versus 2019’s ‘normal market’ comparison.

There’s currently a lack of housing supply to meet demand, resulting in competition pushing house prices up.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “New price records have been set across the board, with every region of Great Britain and all of the three market sectors of first-time buyer, second-stepper and top of the ladder hitting all-time highs. This ‘full house’ is an extremely rare event, happening for the first time since March 2007.

“The stock shortages started after the first lockdown, and they look set to continue with the underlying housing market fundamentals remaining strong, and an additional incentive to buy and fix your mortgage interest rate before a widely expected rate rise.

“Mortgage interest rates are lower than they have ever been before and lenders are keen to lend in a competitive market, with employment and wage growth also robust. The number of sales agreed continue to be strong despite the end of the stamp duty incentives.”

The number of new sellers coming to market is down by 3.2% from 2019, though the shortage of stock is improving compared to previous months.

Cory Askew, head of sales at Chestertons, said: “Despite the stamp duty tax free threshold having returned to its normal level on 1st October, the demand from house hunters hasn’t slowed down.

“London is seeing a return of office workers and steady influx of international buyers. Sellers have taken note of this and, with a higher demand for properties, don’t feel the need to lower their asking price.”

A base rate rise is now expected this year, as concerns grow about rising inflation in the UK.

Bannister added: “2021 has been the year of the power buyer, with those in the most powerful position to proceed quickly and with most certainty ruling the roost over other buyers who have to sell but have yet to come to market.

“One agent’s analysis that 87% of their sales agreed were snapped up by buyers who were already in a position to proceed is fairly typical of reports from many agents.

“Buyers being able to prove they are mortgage-ready or have cash in the bank helps them get up the pecking order.

“Whilst available stock for sale is still close to record lows, there are signs that this has stopped falling and is stabilising this month, so fresh new choice is slowly growing.

“As we approach the end of the year, many prospective buyers may be distracted by a more normal family Christmas than in 2020, giving more determined buyers who have already sold their own property an opportunity to act fast and buy with less competition.”

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