‘Disorganised buyers will miss out’: Three in five properties now sell within 30 days, as competition for homes shows no sign of letting up
- In February, 61% of homes sold within 30 days according to OnTheMarket
- In Scotland, the rate was even higher with 75% of homes selling in a month
- Property agents say it is because there are more buyers than homes for sale
- Rics survey reveals jump in new buyer enquiries for sixth month running
More than three in every five properties listed for sale now sells within the first 30 days, according to new figures.
Last month, 61 per cent of homes were sold subject to contract within the first 30 days, compared to fewer than half (43 per cent) during the same month last year, property portal OnTheMarket says.
It highlights an imbalance between the relatively low supply of new homes coming to the market and the high number of people looking to buy.
Fast movers: OnTheMarket’s data shows that buyers in the North West and West Midlands were the most confident about finding their new home quickly
This increased competition for properties has led to bidding wars and helped to drive up property prices to record highs since the beginning of the pandemic.
Property prices across Britain rose 10.8 per cent in February, the fastest annual pace since 2007, according to Halifax data published this week.
This took the average house price across the country to a new record high of £278,123, while property values increased by 0.5 per cent monthly.
Jason Tebb, chief executive officer of OnTheMarket, said: ‘This faster-paced market doesn’t offer much opportunity for taking your time to come to a decision.
‘With competition for available stock strong, buyers who aren’t organised and prepared to be decisive face missing out.’
Scotland was the fastest-selling region in February, with 75 per cent of homes sold subject to contract within 30 days of first being listed for sale.
Greater London had the lowest number of properties which were sold within 30 days at 48 per cent.
London was also the region with the most number of properties which had taken 120 days or longer to sell (22 per cent) while the Scotland had the lowest at 8 per cent.
Although the cost of living is increasing and mortgage rates are going up, OnTheMarket reported that this had not knocked the confidence of prospective home buyers and sellers.
Three quarters of would-be buyers (75 per cent) said they were confident that they would purchase a property within the next three months compared with 72 per cent in January, and more vendors (82 per cent) were confident they would sell their property within the same time frame compared with 78 per cent in January.
Good prospects: Three quarters of prospective property buyers were confident that they would purchase their new home within the next three months, according to OnTheMarket
The West Midlands had the most confident property sellers, with 85 per cent convinced they would sell their home within the next three months.
It also had the most confident buyers, tied with the North West. In both regions, 77 per cent said they would make their purchase within the same time frame.
Jan Hÿtch, residential and operations partner at estate agent Arnold Keys in Norfolk, said: ‘Every property that comes to market is like a piece of steak being thrown into a bowl of piranhas; everyone jumps on it.’
‘We have a healthy list of applicants, with many prepared to put themselves in the strongest possible position to buy.
‘They want to be first on the list of the ‘willing and able’; it’s not enough to have your home on the market, you need to have sold it or be living in rented accommodation to be the first call or text the agent makes.’
Agents say enquiries are climbing
Property experts have reported a rise in enquiries from new home buyers for the sixth month in a row.
In the latest Rics Residential Market Survey, which takes in the views of chartered surveyors, a net balance of +17 per cent of respondents said they had seen a jump in new buyer enquiries in February.
At the same time the number of agreed sales improved, with a net balance of +9 per cent of those surveyed saying sales of homes were increasing. This was the strongest reading since May 2021.
There is little evidence yet that the mood music regarding the expectations for house prices or rents is shifting
Surveyors also said that more homes were coming on to the market. Only -4 per cent of respondents said they had seen a fall, less than -7 per cent recorded in January.
However, the Rics said stock levels remained close to historic lows and were still a major factor in sustaining house price inflation.
Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said: ‘Huge clouds of uncertainty hang over the economic prospects as energy prices continue to surge and the Bank of England grapples with how to manage monetary policy in this challenging environment.
‘Despite all of this, there is little evidence yet that the mood music regarding the expectations for house prices or rents is shifting.
‘It may well be that these trends ease as the deteriorating macro environment begins to bite, but the message that keeps recurring, both for sales and lettings, is there are in aggregate many more prospective purchasers and renters than properties available.’