Brits are shrugging off the cost of living crisis and higher mortgage costs and are rushing to snap up homes, reveals a new study published today.
A housing market frenzy in 2021 triggered by the pandemic engineering a mass shift in housing preferences and the stamp duty holiday has bled into the new year.
The number of prospective buyers asking about available homes is 15 per cent higher than it was this time last year, the busiest start to a year ever recorded by property search site Rightmove, who compile the figures.
Rampant demand for homes is expelling concerns a looming cost of living crisis, higher mortgage rates and the end of the stamp duty holiday would knock Britain’s housing market.
Sellers are rushing to capitalise on red hot demand and rising prices, unleashing a wave of properties for sale over the Christmas period, Rightmove said.
Tim Bannister, director of property data, said: “New year sellers and buyers have been quick off the mark this year, with Rightmove recording the highest ever number of boxing day sellers coming to market.”
“It’s clear that the trends which defined the market in 2021 have carried over into this year,” he added.
Property prices across the UK are 7.6 per cent higher than they were in January 2021, the hottest annual rate of increase ever recorded.
House prices are up 0.3 per cent over the last month, hitting £341,019 in January this year.
Squeezed supply of housing is keeping prices elevated, driven by Brits hiking home bids to muscle out competition from other buyers.
Higher mortgage rates charged by high street lenders after the Bank of England lifted borrowing costs for the first time in over three years last month has seemingly failed to dampen housing demand.
Outer London boroughs registered the strongest gains in house prices in the capital over the last year.
Bromley, Barking and Dagenham and Havering notched 10.9 per cent, 8.4 per cent and 7.2 per cent respective rises in the cost of buying a home.
Kensington and Chelsea led the areas in London with the most expensive housing, with average house prices in the borough topping £1.6m.