The latest report from Rightmove has some encouraging news with announcement of their highest ever monthly visitors reaching 141 million in January and these visitors spent some 1.1 billion minutes on the site. The price of property coming to the market was up by an average of 0.8% (+£2,414) with all regions also showing price rises, except for a marginal fall of £131 in the South West. The Midlands dominates fast selling hotspots with prices rising three times faster than the national average. Optimism from potential property sellers was also reflected in an increase in new instructions being up by 2% on the previous year. The year-on-year change in the number of sales agreed recovers from -5.5% in Q4 2017, to just -1.6% in January.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: “Whilst it is the norm for new sellers’ asking prices to be buoyant at the start of a new year, this first complete month in 2018 is seeing more pricing optimism than the comparable period in 2017. The political and economic uncertainty is out of sellers’ control, but they are in control of their asking prices, and in general they are not being overly ambitious or setting too high an asking price.

his month’s rise of 0.8% is well below the 1.6% monthly average at this time of year over the last ten years, and it is wise for sellers to be cautious and not to over price given stretched buyer affordability.”

All regions but one have seen the price of newly-marketed property increase this month, with the South West being a very marginal exception with a fall of just £131. However, the annual rate of increase remains subdued at just 1.5%, dragged down to a degree by London’s year-on-year fall of -1.0%. But despite buyers’ price-sensitivity, home-hunter visits to Rightmove have hit a record high.

Shipside adds: “Rightmove is a great barometer of housing demand, and January was its busiest month ever with home-hunters spending over 1.1 billion minutes on the site. Encouragingly for buyers, there are more fresh properties for sale to look at too. With not enough supply of new-build properties, the market needs more churn from existing owners to get the healthy balance of buyer momentum without unhealthy property scarcity and consequently higher prices. Nationally, 2% more sellers have come to market this month compared to the same period a year ago, which is a small step in the right direction. However, with a myriad of local markets with different supply and demand dynamics, those contemplating a move should monitor their area and use the expertise of local agents with their fingers on the pulse.”

You can read the full report here

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