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2017 is already off to a strong start with UK property prices breaking the £300,000 mark for the first time.
Research by property site Rightmove has shown that in the month of January UK home values rose by 0.4% on average, which is the third highest monthly rise for property values since 2015. This new year jump has taken the national average to £300,245, breaking the £300k mark for the first time.
Asking prices were also up, with an average 3.2% rise year on year across the nation, but still quite varied from region to region. As expected, the South of the UK saw the largest jump with the South East rising by 5.5% year on year to £404,804 and Greater London rising by 2.3% year on year to £624,953.
Director at Rightmove, Miles Shipside said: “The 0.4% monthly and 3.2% year-on-year price increases are indicators of the continued market momentum from the autumn.
“Demand for a suitable home is such that visits to the Rightmove website are still up by 5% year-on-year, despite being compared to a period that was boosted by high demand from buy-to-let investors rushing to beat the stamp duty deadline."
Miles Shipside also pointed out that “Year-on-year comparisons for transactions in the first quarter of 2017 should also allow for the distortion of last April’s additional stamp duty tax deadline, as transactions were up 40% in the first quarter last year.”
There has also been a rise in supply of smaller properties hitting the market as it has seemingly cooled down from the property investor perspective, as many acted quickly almost a year ago to beat the stamp duty hike.
This could be a huge benefit to first time buyers, a sentiment backed by Shipside as he stated. “Those planning to buy their first home in 2017 have more choice of properties and less competition from other buyers than their counterparts a year ago. It’s a possible learning point for aspiring first-time buyers that a year ago buy-to-let purchasers acted more quickly and closed deals at a faster rate, appearing not to take a Christmas break.
“Admittedly they had the financial incentive of a deadline to motivate them, but first-time buyers still have time to act and currently have the incentive of stronger negotiating power to try and mitigate the upwards trajectory of property prices.”