The strongest sellers' market in over a decade saw property prices shoot up by an average of £2484 in March.
According to Rightmove's house price index, the number of potential buyers reached a new record this month- and is more than a third higher than the same time last year.
Concerns of a cliff edge for the housing market at the end of March have dissipated, partly due to the tax deadline extensions in all of the UK bar Scotland, but also because the already high level of buyer demand caused by the lockdowns has continued to surge since the start of the yearsaid Rightmove's director of property data, Tim Bannister.
On 3rd March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the stamp duty holiday would be extended until the end of June, as part of a raft of measures designed to boost the UK economy's recovery after the shock of the pandemic.
This was accompanied last week with a 95% mortgage scheme providing guaranteed protection for lenders.
Whilst it is unfortunately not the perfect time to buy for some people who have been adversely affected by the pandemic, the record buyer demand measured by Rightmove indicates that now is the right time for many. Record low-interest rates and the new focus on what your home needs to offer after several lockdowns have led us to the greatest excess of demand oversupply in the last ten years.
said Mr Bannister.
The booming market has even led to speculations over a shortage of properties, as Rightmove reports an average of two out of three homes on agents' books is sale agreed.
Easter is traditionally a popular time to sell up, which may have helped quicken the market's pace in March's first weeks.
However, price growth is not uniform across the country. An increase in the number of employees working from home has led to an exodus from traditional commuter belts and inner cities.
Director of Benham and Reeves in London, Marc von Grundherr, said:
While price growth has been understandably subdued in some areas such as prime central London, a lack of supply to meet the huge levels of buyer demand seen in recent months means that by and large, sellers are securing a very good price for their home. This is a trend we expect to see intensify over the coming months. At Benham and Reeves, we're finding many more sellers requesting valuations in anticipation of riding this wave.
With lockdown restrictions still in place, buyers are continuing to value larger homes over location, and so we're seeing the outer suburbs of London perform extremely well right now.
While, unusually, London may be lagging behind, nationally, asking prices are at a 5-year high.
According to Rightmove, the average property enters the market with an asking price of just over £320,000.
This is more than £20,000 more than the same time last year and more than £40,000 more than the entry asking price in March 2016.
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