The recent shortage of homes being listed for sale is easing across the UK property market, while investors with portfolios are set to benefit.

The latest March figures from leading property agent membership body Propertymark have revealed how new activity has been picking up in time for spring. With rising numbers of homes coming to market, alongside an uptick in sales agreed, the results are positive news for buyers and sellers alike.

Among its key findings, Propertymark noted that there were 10 new properties listed for sale per member branch in March. This is up from just five in December, demonstrating the rate at which sellers are returning to the fold.

Alongside this, the number of sales agreed across the UK property sector grew from eight per member branch in February to 10 in March.

House prices, states the report, continue to hold steady across these reported sales, with 85% of all homes selling either at or above asking price. The market remains a competitive place, with buyers still showing a strong appetite for investment.

Buyer numbers also growing

Propertymark’s data showed that with the increased number of listings, more interested buyers are also stepping into the mix for a spring push. The average number of buyers registered per agency branch was 84 in March, up from 67 in February.

This is still down, though, on the January high of 100, so while this still creates an extremely competitive environment, there could be signs of a levelling out.

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, said: “Our March figures show a range of new activity as the spring
market makes itself known. The number of new properties coming on to the market has increased slightly and new stock breeds new buyers and new sales.

“The number of sales being agreed in March is slightly above our recorded long-term average and the uplift in properties coming to market is a trend we would hope to see continue into April and May.”

UK property in high demand

The UK property market has seen incredible demand over recent months, contrary to some predictions earlier on in the pandemic. Housing in the UK continues to be viewed as one of the strongest and most stable asset classes, with both property investors and home buyers keen to back bricks and mortar.

This is further demonstrated in the trends Propertymark has noted in its agreed sales prices at member branches in March. With 84% of properties selling for at or above the original asking price, this is a 4% increase on the previous year and the highest figure recorded since the surveys began in September 2013.

The number of first-time buyers getting onto the UK property ladder also remained strong during the month, notes the survey. This buyer type made up 30% of overall sales in March.

While this is slightly below the 37% recorded in February, it is still comfortably above average for the post-2020 lockdown period, which averaged 25%.

Rightmove’s latest figures

While Propertymark’s research is based on survey results across its approximately 18,000 property agents, property portal Rightmove has revealed its latest house price findings based on asking prices on its website.

The portal has revealed that the typical asking price of UK property has increased by 9.9% over the past year, up by £35,650 to £360,101. Taken in conjunction with Propertymark’s findings of 84% of sales being agreed at or above asking price, this demonstrates the continued upwards trajectory of pricing.

According to Rightmove, the past three months have seen the biggest surge in prices, with a rise of more than £19,000. The speed of the market is also noted in the portal’s findings, with the average property being snapped up in just 33 days.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “The high demand from a large number of buyers chasing too few properties for sale has led to a spring price frenzy, a hat-trick of record price months, and the largest price increase for a three-month period Rightmove has ever recorded.”

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