News & insights

News: 09 May 2022

Post pandemic return to cities as house prices reach new high

While the pandemic triggered a desire in homeowners to move out of town in search of bigger gardens and more scenic locations, the easing of Covid-19 restrictions means many property purchasers have now decided it’s time to move back closer to the action.


The reopening of offices, galleries, museums and family attractions has seen an increase in demand for city properties, with the latest Rightmove data showing house prices in London have undergone a year on year increase of 6.6 per cent. The average asking price for a home in the capital now stands at £677,110. There was a 1.9 per cent increase in house prices in London in the last month alone.


Meanwhile the average price of a home in the UK as a whole hit a record level for the third month in a row and Rightmove’s house price index shows UK annual price growth of 9.9 per cent, bringing the average price of a property in the UK to over £360,000. What’s more, many towns outside of London have seen more than twice as many buyer enquiries per property than this time a year ago.


Right Move’s property expert Tim Bannister said: ‘Our research highlights that as pandemic restrictions have been lifted, competition has increased most in areas just outside Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester, as more people look to be closer to cities either for work or for their lifestyle.’


He added: ‘With three new monthly price records in a row, 2022 has started with price-rise momentum even greater than during the stamp duty holiday-fuelled market of last year.


The economic headwinds of strongly rising inflation and modestly rising interest rates are being kept at bay by the even stronger tailwind of property market momentum that has carried over from last year.’


UK property hotspots revealed in Rightmove’s latest research data (which is based on year on year comparisons of people enquiring about each home for sale), include Shirley in Solihull, Jesmond in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Chorlton Cum Hardy in Greater Manchester, Stratton in Wiltshire and Woodley in Berkshire. While in London, Balham, Upminster and Chessington saw the most competition from buyers.


For those looking to buy, it’s more important than ever that they have all their ducks in a row, enabling them to act quickly when faced with stiff competition from other prospective purchasers. A shortage of property and high demand has created a sellers’ market, meaning buyers have to act confidently in order to secure the best deals.


However competitive the market, conveyancing searches are an essential component of any property purchase. A proactive conveyancer who gets started on the searches promptly can be helpful to speed up the process. While a booming market can put increased pressure on conveyancers, Thames Water Property Searches offer a comprehensive and reliable service conveyancers can rely on at this busy time.
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