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Antony Antoniou – Luxury Property Expert

Rightmove finally acknowledging the reality of the market

Rightmove finally acknowledging the reality of the market

Rightmove finally acknowledging the reality of the market


Some sellers remain optimistic about their price expectations as sales at the top end of the market begin to lag, Rightmove has warned.It comes as the latest Rightmove House Price Index showed the average price of all types of property coming to the market has risen by 0.8% since February to £365,357.

This is below the average monthly rise of 1% seen in March over the past 20 years, which the portal said reflects a higher degree of pricing caution by many new sellers.

However, the exception to this caution is a 1.2% monthly price jump in the larger home top-of-the-ladder sector.This is in contrast to more modest 0.4% and 0.5% respective rises in the second-stepper and first-time buyer sectors respectively. Overall, new seller asking prices are now £5,800 below October 2022’s peak, with annual price growth continuing to ease and now at 3.0%, down from 3.9% in February.

The larger rise in asking prices at the top of the property ladder comes despite sales agreed for these types of homes in the past two weeks now 10% behind the same period in 2019 and 13% behind in the second-stepper sector, Rightmove said.

Sales agreed for typical first-time buyer properties are just 4% behind the same period in the more normal market of 2019. However, they are 18% behind last year’s exceptional level.

The portal’s analysis suggested the 1.2% rise in the most expensive property sector “appears to be over-optimistic given the slower recovery in sales agreed numbers.”

Rightmove added: “Some sellers in this sector may need to temper their price expectations in order to attract more buyer interest and secure a sale.

“One contributing factor to larger home sales lagging is a reduction in pandemic-driven lifestyle changes. The proportion of buyers enquiring to make a move over 50km away from where they live is now 15%, the same level as 2019 and below its pandemic peak of 18%.”

Tim Bannister Rightmove’s director of property science, added: “Lagging sales agreed in the larger homes sectors are likely to be caused by a combination of factors including fewer pandemic-driven moves to bigger homes, a more cautious approach to trading up due to the cost of living, and even perhaps concern over the running costs of a larger home.
“Meanwhile sales in the first-time buyer sector are likely being helped by some deposit assistance from family.

“The differing performance of smaller and larger homes highlights the multi-speed, hyper-local market. Sellers looking to take advantage of traditionally strong buyer interest during the spring moving season should seek the expertise of a local estate agent, who will have their finger on the pulse and be best placed to advise on their local market.”

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