Confidence, asking prices and activity are all on the rise

Looking across the market - the industry bodies, trade groups and many property price indices are sharing their views about what’s happening to property price, rents and sentiment.

Confidence indicators

It seems that how the market is talked up - or down – can either provide self-perpetuating confidence… or stifle the market. Right now, the market is buoyant, and the headlines are positive which seems to be bringing out both buyers and sellers. 

Earlier this month, Rightmove reported a surge in demand from new buyers and that asking prices were up 12.3% compared to the same time last year.

Rightmove said “…many now seem to have the vision that this is the year to satisfy their pent-up housing needs.”

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported renewed optimism from both buyers and sellers.

Those who responded to the monthly survey said they expect this to continue with sales anticipated to rise across all UK regions, both in the near term and for the years to come

House prices

The Halifax Index suggests a 4.1% increase in annual change in house prices has been experienced versus the same time last year.

Although The Nationwide’s reports are not quite as dramatic – the Building Society still suggests annual house prices have risen by some 1.9% over the year; which was an increase compared to December 2019.

Meanwhile the Office for National Statistics reported that house prices in December have risen 2.2% versus the same time last year now stand £232,000.

Over the past three years, there has been a general slowdown in UK house price growth (driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England), but there has been a pickup in annual growth since July 2019.

Rental Prices

RICS also report rising demand for rental properties, but suggest landlord instructions fell for the fifteenth successive quarter – leading to what it describes as a sustained mismatch between rising demand and falling supply, which will inevitably lead to rents rising.

Indeed, HomeLet found rental prices agreed in January were 2.3% higher than the same time last year, with the biggest growth in the North West at 8.7%. Just two regions saw rents fall – the south east and the east of England.

The report puts average rent in the UK at £953 per month, up from £932 in January 2019.

Meanwhile, rents in the capital have seen a 4.4% growth, rising to a monthly average of £1,627 from £1,558 last January.  


Anthony Szabo, Area Director:

"February has seen the increase in activity present in January continue at pace.

One of the key metrics, supported by recently released figures by Rightmove, is the increase in traffic to the site and the increase being reported across the capital in valuation requests.

As a ‘nation of shop keepers’, in Estate Agency, our ‘shop’ requires that our shelves are stacked with a fresh stock of new instructions. This has been a key issue over recent years, particularly in the residential sales market, as, due to uncertainly in the economy, speculative valuations (shall we get the house valued?) were virtually nonexistent. With a change in mind set, these ‘early days’ valuation requests have increased significantly and are the pre-curser to fresh stock coming to the market. It is a slow burn but the key point to note is that the fuse does appear to have been lit. Couple this with increased tenant and purchaser activity, and the signs are there that, as the quarter and year continues, the current lack of supply will reverse and will soon meet the demands of the influx of tenants and purchasers looking to move.

Having been an Estate Agent for over 30 years, I am not foolhardy enough to make predictions on the market however, what I can say is that currently, all the signs are there to indicate that momentum is building. The ripple is way out at sea currently but, as more and more Landlords and Vendors move from a mindset of speculative enquiry, to affirmative action …. The surf could well and truly be up!"