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Number of homes selling for above asking price hits seven-year high

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·2-min read

One in six (16%) homes were snapped up in March for more money than the amounts that sellers were originally asking for, according to estate agents.

It marked the highest proportion of homes selling for above the asking price in about seven years.

The number of sales agreed was also the highest for the month of March since 2007, NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) Propertymark said.

An average of 12 sales were agreed per estate agency branch – the highest figure for March since 2007 when the number was also 12.

More than a quarter (27%) of sales in March were made to first-time buyers – the highest figure since June 2020.

Last week, a string of lenders launched new 5% deposit mortgages onto the market, as a Government scheme to give first-time buyers a boost got under way.

A stamp duty holiday, which was due to end on March 31 2021, was extended in the recent Budget.

NAEA Propertymark said the 16% of properties selling for over the asking price in March was the highest figure since May 2014, when 19% of properties sold for more than the original asking price.

A third (33%) of homes sold for less than the original asking price in March – the lowest number since records started.

In February 2021, just over one in 10 (11%) of properties had been selling for over the asking price.

Adding to the upward pressure on prices, NAEA Propertymark said there are now 13 buyers typically for every property on the market.

A third of properties (33%) sold for less than the original asking price, the lowest number since records started.

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at Propertymark, said: “It is fantastic to see the property market continuing to thrive, fuelled by the announcement to extend the stamp duty holiday.

“The pandemic has meant many homeowners currently living in urban and city areas have reconsidered their lifestyle and are now reprioritising how and where they want to live, especially with working from home becoming the new normal.

“The imbalance of supply and demand means it’s an extremely strong sellers’ market; properties are selling quickly and for over the asking price, and this is something we expect will continue in the coming months.”