Rightmove: Supply issues to improve as sellers return

There’s been a surge in property sellers asking for their homes to be valued in the first week of 2022, indicating that supply issues could improve in the next few months.

In January Rightmove was selling just 12 homes per branch, despite demand being 15% higher year-on-year.

As a result competition is roughly twice as fierce as it was last year.

However Rightmove reported that the first working week of 2022 was the busiest start of the year ever for people requesting agents to come out and value their properties.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “New Year sellers and buyers have been quick off the mark this year, with Rightmove recording the highest ever number of Boxing Day sellers coming to market.

“These early-bird sellers who got themselves ready to come to market are not benefitting from the busiest start to the year that we’ve ever recorded.”

Properties at the top of the ladder are seeing the largest price growth across the market.

At the top end asking prices have risen by 1.7% between December and January, and by 10.9% year-on-year – bringing prices to £623,936.

First-time buyer prices also rose by 1.4% in January, reaching £214,176. On an annual basis first-timers are paying 6.8% more for properties than last year.

Guy Gittins, chief executive of Chestertons, said: “We expect the market to remain buoyant for at least the first quarter of 2022 as London is seeing the return of office workers, international students as well as Londoners who left the capital during the peak of the pandemic but are now seeking a return to the hustle and bustle of the city.

“London’s property market cannot currently meet the demand from house hunters which, inevitably, has led to a very competitive market for buyers and rising prices. To secure their ideal property, buyers are advised to put themselves in the best possible position by having their finances and paperwork in place prior to starting their search as it will enable them to act fast.”

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