So, reports Rightmove this month and we don’t disagree with their view.
There has been a record number of potential buyers enquiring about each available property in March, 34% higher than the same period a year ago.
The number of sales agreed in the UK for the first week in March was up by 12% on that in 2020 and the number of visits to Rightmove in February was up by 40% on the same month last year.
Certainly, demand is outstripping supply in the market, but there are positive signs that owners are now looking ahead to marketing their homes, in part spurred on by the extension of the stamp duty and new 95% mortgage deposit incentives.
This is the year where fortune will favour the 'bold seller' – you need to be in it to win it, as they say. So don’t delay. Get professional advice from your RB& Co valuer and take your home to the market. And with a buyer in hand, you will maximise your opportunity of purchasing the home of your dreams when it comes available – rather than miss it.
We are finding that some sellers are fixed on waiting to find a home to buy first, before going to the market with their own. But very sadly, many are now finding in this buoyant market, that before they have even had a chance to instruct to us to sell their property, the home they were hoping to buy has already gone. Yes, it takes a bit of courage to be bold when it comes to selling your home, but our team is there to advise and support our sellers all the way through the selling and buying process.
Senior homeowners have been particularly reluctant to take their homes to the market over the last twelve months, and understandably so, with all the uncertainties surrounding Covid safety. But now many are revaluating their position, not just because of the easing of lockdown and a more positive social outlook for spring/summer, but also due to what may be called ‘Vaccine Confidence’. With many now due for their second jab in April, fears about letting buyers enter and view their homes are easing, and they are also feeling more confident about going out to view properties that are for sale themselves.
At present, it is fair to say there is a shortage of homes for sale in all sectors of the market in relation to demand. There is a particularly acute lack of homes for sale in key locations in uphill Lincoln. Also, now that we are into spring, demand is growing for village and country property from buyers relocating into the county from London and the south-east, the East Midlands and Yorkshire. Our direct access to buyers in these regions, in particular through the Mayfair Office in London and the LonRes Network in the capital is already paying dividends for our clients.
Rightmove forecasts that the supply of homes coming to the market is set to expand. A recovery in fresh supply gives more choice to prospective buyers, many of whom will also be potential sellers, which in turn encourages more of them to come to market. Greater supply to match the high demand would of course ease upwards price pressure. Price rises will also be tempered by the tighter lending criteria imposed by the Bank of England upon lenders following the Mortgage Market Review in 2014. Rightmove comment that the current annual rate of house price increase stands at a historically modest rate of 2.7%, but they still stand by their forecast for 4% growth in 2021.
For those considering a sale in the next 12 months, now is certainly the time to act to ensure you can take advantage of current favourable market conditions. Sellers who have had their properties accurately valued and have been realistic on pricing should expect attractive offers and a prompt exchange.
Tony Wing DipSurv MRICS FNAEA