Requests for property valuations have hit their highest since January, according to the latest research, as homeowners look to make the most out of the market while house prices are still hot.
House price growth has been slowing since the beginning of the year, according to the country’s most watched indexes.
While still breaking new records, the Nationwide House Price Index on Thursday revealed that the figure grew 10.7 per cent in June, to an average of £271,613. However, growth was more subdued than in the previous month, which saw the cost of a home climb 11.2 per cent.
House prices have been steadily rising over the last decade but have exploded since the start of the pandemic.
According to property site Rightmove today, the number of prospective sellers contacting estate agents to have their home valued – typically the first step for a seller coming to market – soared late last month.
The number of home valuation requests for the week beginning 20 June was nearly a quarter higher than in the same week last year.
While warmer weather has certainly played its part, with summer historically known for being an easier time to sell or let a property, a combination of slowing house price growth and concerns over rising mortgage rates is expected to be weighing on homeowners’ decisions.
“In recent months, we have reported a slight easing of the market and the pace of price growth compared to the exceptional levels of last year, and now we are seeing signs of some of the pressure on stock easing too,” Rightmove’s director of property science, Tim Bannister, said.
“New instructions to agents are up 14 per cent in the last two weeks compared to last year, which will be welcome news for buyers wanting more choice, and the high number of valuation requests we’ve recorded is a positive sign of more potential choice to come.”
While prospective buyers are facing higher mortgage rates than six months ago, economists expect the Bank of England to hike rates further, to around 4.62 per cent, before the end of the year.
Should the Bank of England follow through with forecasts, borrowing for a home will hit levels last seen in April 2010, when the average house price was £168,719 as opposed to the £271,613 it is today.
The more than £100,000 cost leap, over the span of 12-years, just acts as more encouragement for homeowners looking to sell while the price looks right.