A record number of homes that completed in January 2021 sold for their asking price or above, and those that didn’t missed the mark by only a small amount.
More than a third (37%) of homes in England and Wales achieved their asking price or more in January 2021, while those that didn’t achieved on average 98.1 per cent of what the seller was hoping for, according to figures from Rightmove.
By comparison, in January 2020 some 28 per cent of homes achieved asking price or above, while the long-term average is just under one in four homes (23%) getting the asking price.
The last record was set back in May 2016, when 36 per cent of homes sold for at least the asking price.
As housing activity in the UK rocketed, and the number of buyers outpaced the number of sellers, and buyers had to get more competitive to secure their desired new home.
In London, the most expensive place for housing in the UK, a slightly lower 30 per cent of sellers achieved their asking price or above, with those that didn’t got 97.4 per cent of the asking price.
House prices are at record highs, with the average property in the UK now worth £336,073, although there are signs that, as the end of the stamp duty holiday approaches, the market is slowing.
The best performing region was Yorkshire and the Humber, where 45 per cent of sellers sold their home for at least the asking price.
Rightmove director of property data Tim Bannister said: “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.”
James Forrester, MD of Barrows and Forrester, was surprised more properties hadn’t been sold for the asking price.
“In a market swamped with buyers and short on housing stock to satisfy this appetite for homeownership, it’s actually quite surprising that just a third of sales are going for asking price or above and not more.
“We’re seeing sellers secure offers incredibly quickly at the moment, often within a week of listing on the market, and in such a fast paced market it’s not uncommon for buyers to offer above the odds in order to secure their ideal home.”
Managing director of Ascend Properties Ged McPartlin added: “It’s certainly a sellers market at present and despite the initial stamp duty holiday deadline fast approaching, we continue to see multiple buyers attempt to outbid each on what limited options are available which is driving up the percentage of asking price achieved.
“The North of England continues to lead the way in terms of the strongest performing regions and with many sellers achieving near enough what they’re marketing their property for, it’s no wonder there has been such steep rates of house price growth of late.
“We may see this heightened market activity subside slightly once the current stamp duty holiday is done and dusted, however, the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand should ensure this trend persists well into next year.”