While spring is a traditionally busy time for the UK property market, this spring is proving to potentially be the busiest ever.
Nationwide’s recently released House Price Index reported 14.3% price growth in the year to March, up from 12.6% in February. According to Nationwide, the average property in the UK is now worth a record £265,312, increasing by over £33,000 in the past year.
It’s safe to say that the usual spring increase in demand for property is well underway, as homebuyers look to move ahead of summer. However, there are more factors that are leading to this so-called ‘best spring ever’ for sellers.
Homebuyers still seeking more space
Two years on from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, homebuyers are still settling into new ways of working and living. As many return to some form of hybrid working, or realise that their work from home situation is more or less permanent, they are seeking out homes that will support their new lifestyles.
Some are still prioritising more space and a sense of community, finding homes outside of big city centres in order to fulfil this need. Others are looking to new commuter towns as they only commute to the office two or three days each week.
Additionally, there’s a rebound in demand for urban properties being seen this spring that wasn’t seen in earlier parts of the pandemic, as workers begin to return to the office in a more permanent capacity.
With new ways of working and increased savings accrued during lockdowns, we’re seeing prices up by 21% on pre-pandemic levels, and demand for housing is remaining high.
Taking advantage of the conditions
The combination of strong demand for housing and a limited stock of homes has also kept upward pressure on prices as we move into spring, meaning that some are being priced out of the market.
Zoopla reports that the number of homes listed for sale across the average UK estate agency branch has moved up slightly by 3.5% in March, but the stock of homes available to buy is 42% below the UK’s 5-year average.
While this may indeed price some prospective homebuyers out of the market, there is reason for optimism if you’re a buyer this spring.
The availability and cost of mortgages has remained consistent, helping keep the process and prices associated with buying a house more manageable. Additionally, Rightmove has reported incremental increases in the number of homes coming to market as we enter spring, so hopefully supply will continue to rise to help even out the imbalance.
On the seller side, Rightmove has also reported that the proportion of properties finding a buyer within the first week is at an all-time high for this time of year, meaning that sellers with appropriately priced and strong properties can expect a shorter marketing time than normal.
In short, whether you’re considering buying, selling or both, this spring is the perfect time to take advantage of a robust property market.