Rightmove: Record number of homes selling above asking price – use ‘caution’ though

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The latest available sold price data from the Land Registry reveals more than a third of homes have achieved their final price or above. This is the highest number recorded by Rightmove. 

The market conditions throughout the pandemic have led to buyers paying an average of 98.1 per cent of the final asking price.

It is the first time the percentage has exceeded 98 per cent.

It comes after Britons spent more time in their homes than ever in the last year and many deciding they need more space or an office for home working.

A garden is also a feature that has become more desirable as well as coastal living.

In Yorkshire & the Humber, 45 per cent of properties have sold for asking price or higher, the highest percentage of any region, followed by the North West with 41 per cent of properties.

There were 18 per cent of homes that sold for over the asking price that completed in January, which is the same as the previous high of 18 per cent back in May 2016.

The long-term average number of homes selling for more than the asking price between 2005 and 2021 is 10 per cent.

Analysis of Rightmove asking prices and Land Registry sold prices between January 2005 and January 2021 shows that 37 per cent of homes that completed in January 2021 were sold for either the final asking price set by estate agents advertising homes on Rightmove or even higher.

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Since the housing market reopened last May, the percentage of homes achieving asking price or above has been steadily increasing. 

Rightmove Director of Property Data Tim Bannister says: “This unique study quantifies the buyer bidding wars that agents have been reporting since the markets reopened last year, and is further evidence of the unprecedented market that emerged from the various lockdowns with many people deciding they wanted or needed to move as their requirements on space and surroundings changed.

“I would, however, caution against sellers being tempted to ask their agent to put their property on for a price that’s much higher than market value. 

“Although many agents are seeing buyers scrambling to put in offers, if your property is priced too high at the beginning it will stick out like a sore thumb on Rightmove as buyers will compare the asking prices of similar properties in the same area. 

“You need to first get people through the door, even for desirable properties in the hotter areas. 

“My advice would be to listen to your agent’s expert opinion, and be mindful that the market is now showing early signs of cooling.”

North West properties were followed by the North East where 98.1 per cent of properties achieved the final asking price.

This was then followed by the West Midlands, the East of England, South West and South East.

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Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham & Reeves in London, says: “It’s little wonder really that such a large proportion of home sales are at asking price or above given that the stamp duty holiday and pent up demand has led to a 50 per cent hike in buyer demand and therefore transactions. 

“Price growth is as ever fragmented across the nation but nowhere are there drops in value. 

“Quite the contrary, parts of Britain are seeing double-digit growth in home values and I suspect that there’s more of that to come especially as Rightmove’s numbers show that London and the South East are now awakening from being somewhat behind other regions up until now. 

“A continuing strong economic recovery, low unemployment and interest rates that are barely positive, will contribute to further positive data in the coming months.”

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