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Asking prices rise in February after six months of falls

Asking prices rise in February after six months of falls
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Average new seller asking prices are up by 0.9 per cent this month to reach £362,839.

According to Rightmove, this was equivalent to a monthly boost of £3,091.

The property portal added that the annual price change was also up, to 0.1 per cent. The rise follows six months of falls in annual asking prices.

2024 has started positively, with agreed sales in the first six weeks up 16 per cent year-on-year (YOY).

Demand and supply boosted

Both buyer and seller activity is rising too, according to Rightmove.

The number of new property listings coming to the market in February was up seven per cent on last year. New buyer enquiries were also up seven per cent annually.

But not all homes are selling quickly, suggesting that “the market remains very price-sensitive”, according to the property portal.

It said that homes that are priced correctly are “being snapped up”, but overpriced properties are left on the shelf.

Overall, properties are now taking two weeks longer to find a buyer than this time last year.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove‘s director of property science, said: “Momentum to move in 2024 is continuing to build, but prospective sellers mustn’t get carried away. Buyers now have more choice of property for sale and many are still very price-sensitive, with mortgage rates remaining elevated.

“Sellers who are serious about moving this year would be well-advised to ride this wave of increased buyer confidence with an attractive asking price before any pre-election jitters or unexpected events dampen the momentum.”

Michelle Niziol, CEO at IMS Property Group in Oxfordshire, added: “There’s a sense of optimism, helped hugely by mortgage rates dropping in recent months, which now seem to have settled and remained stable, giving prospective buyers assurance and confidence.

“With lower mortgage rates on offer and more properties for sale, now is a good opportunity for any would-be buyers out there.”