UK home costs hit ‘hat-trick’ new excessive, climbing greater than £5.5k since March

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Monday, April 25, 2022 6:20 am

The median price of a home has hit a third record high in just three months as rising costs dampen hopes of Londoners looking to climb the ladder.

Prices have risen 1.6 per cent – the equivalent of £5,537 – to an average of £360,101 in the UK since March, according to Rightmove.

As the cost of living squeezes people’s finances, the housing market appears to be rejuvenating, according to some of the country’s leading real estate agencies.

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But the number of deals remains steady, Rightmove data showed, with agreed sales over 20 percent higher than the more “normal” market of 2019.

“2022 has entered with pricing momentum even greater than during last year’s stamp duty and holiday-driven market,” warned Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data.

“While increasing affordability constraints mean this momentum is unsustainable in the long-term, high demand from a large number of buyers seeking too few properties for sale has fueled a spring price frenzy, a hat-trick of record price months and the largest price increase for a period of three months that Rightmove has ever recorded.”

The data seems quite damning for those looking to buy, particularly first-time buyers, as a home in London falls even further out of reach.

However, those looking to sell in the capital have seen average price growth of six percent for their homes as homes across the country are being bought twice as fast as before the pandemic.

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After London’s most expensive areas, including Kensington and Chelsea, were hit by significant price falls last summer, the borough posted the highest level of growth of all 32 boroughs this month, rising 13.8 percent year-on-year to £1.73 million.

Westminster followed shortly after, with average prices up 11.2 per cent to £1.44million.

At the lower end of the scale, Barking and Dagenham emerged as the cheapest area in London, despite house prices rising 10 per cent compared to the same month last year. Bexley and Greenwich were also ranked as more favorable locations in London.

Director of London estate agents Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said little to allay buyers’ fears about affordability, but stressed now is still the right time to buy.

“We have already seen concrete signs that the market is starting to turn in 2022 and a sluggish pandemic performance is firmly behind us,” he said.

“Obviously it will take time for this to catch on and boost confidence among home sellers in the capital, but if it does it won’t be long before price expectations rise significantly. So while it remains a seller’s market across the board, now is the time to buy in London as property prices are going in only one direction, at least for the rest of the year.”

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