Rightmove says market now has twice as many buyers as sellers

House prices have risen 1.7% month-on-month, the fastest rise at this time of year since 2004, according to property website Rightmove.

In the latest data to suggest the widely expected slowdown in the market is not yet happening, Rightmove said the average asking price of homes put on sale in the month to 12th March was £354,564. This is £5,760 more than the previous month and 10.4% higher year-on-year.

Rightmove said this is the “best ever spring seller’s market’ with twice as many buyers as sellers.

It said around one in five deals (22%) were agreed within the first week of being marketed by Rightmove, double the figure for the same period pre-pandemic in 2019, which it said demonstrated the ‘speed of the market’.

Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove said however that ‘headwinds’ are likely to slowdown the market later in the year.

He said: ““We’ve just seen interest rates rise again, and there are further incremental increases forecast for the year which will raise mortgage rates for some. Inflation and cost of living increases are also likely to affect buyer affordability and market sentiment.”

Bannister added that it is “too early to know” how the UK housing market will be affected by the longer-term economic impact of the “abhorrent and devastating war in Ukraine”.

He said: “When the war started, we initially saw slightly lower buyer demand but this has now stabilised.”

Earlier this month the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported a sixth successive month of new buyer inquiries. Nationwide also said prices in February increased by the highest cash amount since the start of its index 31 years ago.