As we reach the busiest season of the year for the housing market, recent data from Rightmove* reveals that home hunters and sellers alike are making the most out of the warmer weather, brighter evenings and the market heating up – which is reflected in last month’s house price growth.
Sellers are traditionally at an advantage to price their homes higher in spring and summer, as this time of year is the most competitive time on the market for buyers, allowing asking prices to rise while sales activity remains rampant.
Rightmove’s March House Price Index * analysed data on asking prices in England, Scotland and Wales to gauge the condition of the market this spring.
Across the UK last month, house prices rose by 0.8%, up to £365,357, just below the typical price rise of 1% at this time of year seen over the past two decades. * The slightly smaller growth could be a reflection on house sellers pricing carefully in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis – however – the seasonal growth suggests that we are heading towards a more settled market for the remainder of 2023 as prices continue to follow regular trends.
Good news for those hoping to move this year
According to Rightmove, buyer demand was up by 6% in March compared to the same period in the pre-pandemic housing market of 2019. *
Director of Property Science Innovation, Tim Bannister, says: “The beginning of the spring season sees a more settled market as it recovers from the turbulence at the end of 2022.”
And these positive signs may mean that those who put off moving home during the incredibly busy housing market of 2021, and part of 2022, are now ready to make a move.
“Higher mortgage rates and wider economic factors have raised challenges for some home-movers. Many faced bidding wars for homes during the past two years, but this slower-paced market now gives people time to plan and secure their next move as we enter the traditionally busy spring-buying season,” Tim adds. *
First-time buyers are returning
Following the fallout from September’s mini-budget and an unexpected spike in mortgage rates last year, first-time buyers understandably may have put their moving plans on a back burner amidst market uncertainty. Thankfully, as mortgage rates appear to have peaked in October and therefore started to gradually level out, sales agreed on first-time buyer homes have seen the most improvements of all property types when compared to sales in 2019.*
First-time buyers can place themselves in good stead for getting on the property ladder this year by checking the local market for prices that houses have recently sold for in order to budget accordingly. Those saving up for a deposit can also use a mortgage calculator tool to get a grasp on how just how much you will be able to borrow with a mortgage. This way, you can obtain a Mortgage in Principle, which will place you ahead of competition when you’re ready to buy your first home.
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