(Alliance News) - The UK housing market set a new record in October, property portal Rightmove said in its monthly tracker on Monday, with the average price of new properties climbing to a national high.
Rightmove said the national average asking price climbed 1.1% to a record GBP323,530 in October, from GBP319,996 in September, which was at the time a 0.2% monthly rise.
Annually, the October rise is 5.5%, or GBP16,818, the biggest rate of increase in over four years, Rightmove noted. The portal now forecasts annual price growth of about 7% by the end of December as the housing market continues its bounce following the Covid-19 lockdown.
"Activity levels also hit three new records in September, though there are now some signs of this extraordinary momentum easing off in October," Rightmove added.
The average time to sell a property was 50 days quicker than ever before. September also saw the highest number of sales ever agreed in a month, up 70% annually.
Rightmove said traffic on its website surged 50% annually in September, the largest yearly rise since 2006.
The pace of growth is easing in October, the portal said, though it is still up 58% from a year ago.
"Previous records are tumbling in this extraordinary market, and there are still some legs left in the upwards march of property prices," Rightmove's Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said.
"Many buyers seem willing to pay record prices for properties that fit their changed post-lockdown needs, though agents are commenting that some owners price expectations are now getting too optimistic, and not all properties fit the must-have template that buyers are now seeking."
Rightmove noted that despite the housing market grinding to halt between late March and mid-May due to Covid-19 curbs, 2% more sales on an annual basis have been agreed in the year to date.
Bannister added: "Not only is the time left to sell and legally complete before the March 31 stamp duty deadline being eaten away by the calendar, but more time is also needed because the sheer volume of sales is making it take longer for sales that have been agreed to complete the process. Sellers and their agents should therefore be wary of being too optimistic on their initial asking price, as whilst activity levels continue to amaze there are some signs of momentum easing off from these unprecedented levels."
By Eric Cunha; firstname.lastname@example.org
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