Almost half of estate agency stock has been sold subject to contract so far this year, as buyer demand continues to outweigh supply, Rightmove has reported.
The property portal claims that the strength of buyer demand and lack of properties coming onto the market has resulted in more than 45% of agents’ stock being sold subject to contract – the highest proportion recorded by Rightmove for seven years.
The average asking price remained at a “virtual standstill” in July – up by just 0.1% to £317,421. This compares to a 0.4% monthly decline recorded in June, and is up by 2.8% on an annual basis.
The number of agreed sales in June rose by 4.6% year-on-year, while the number of sellers was up by 7.6%.
Meanwhile, average housing stock per agent was flat, at 60 in June, while the average time to sell increased by one day, to 60, which is two days longer than the same time last year.
The Director of Rightmove, Miles Shipside, comments: “Prices are in the summer doldrums. Sellers coming to market at this time of year have to price more keenly, as the traditionally bubblier spring selling season is over and prospective buyers are distracted by their own summer holiday plans.
“A year on from the shock referendum result and subsequent dent in activity levels, the fundamentals remain strong. Low unemployment, low interest rates, strong demand and historic undersupply of homes are mitigating any wobbles in confidence and, as a result, nearly half the properties on the market – over 45% – have sold signs slapped across them.”
The Founder and CEO of online estate agent eMoov, Russell Quirk, adds: “Encouraging signs that seller interest at least has picked back up following June’s election. Although the current parliamentary situation is far from strong and stable, we’re already seeing election blues sidelined and the market return to a semblance of normality now that some of the dust of political uncertainty has started to settle.
“We saw a similar hangover from the EU referendum, in which the market took a good month or so before kicking back into action. It is likely that, should these figures ring true, we could see a reverse in the cooling price trends reported over the last month or so, but heightened seller activity must be matched on the buyers’ side of the market in order for this to happen, otherwise, we could see the reverse.”
He concludes: “After all, Rightmove’s data is based largely on listed stock and asking prices, and is just a mere toe dip into the UK property market pool, and it doesn’t necessarily portray the overall temperature of the market, as a sale agreed doesn’t guarantee it will be completed.”