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Rightmove sees strongest spring UK house sales in a decade

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·3-min read
Estate agents placards are seen in front of houses in London on August 17, 2016 
From computers and cars to carpets and food, Britain's decision to leave the EU is beginning to hit consumers in the pocket, having already spread uncertainty through the property market. There are fears over the UK housing market, but deflation is more of a concern than price rises in this key sector. Figures released Monday showed that residential rents for new lets in London had fallen for the first time in six years. In addition, homeowners have seen the value of their property rise on average by just 2.1 percent in the year up tol August, a slowdown from the breakneck growth of recent years, according to property website Rightmove.
 / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Data showed that new listings in March alone jumped 17% on the total number listed for the month of February, and 28% higher compared to January. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

House sales in Britain rose to their highest levels in a decade as the spring selling season was boosted by new sellers and record home visits.

According to Rightmove (RMV), the number of sales being agreed on 23 March hit the highest daily amount recorded over the past ten years, with property visits reaching more than 9.1 million the day after.

This surpassed the level recorded on Budget day, which hit a fresh high at the time on the back of the chancellor’s stamp duty extension announcement.

Wednesday also saw new sellers jumping into action on its platform, recording the highest daily number of new properties coming up for sale in one day so far this year.

Data showed that new listings in March alone jumped 17% on the total number listed for the month of February, and 28% higher compared to January.

New listings had a slower start than usual in the first few months of the year, leading to a market with the greatest excess of demand over supply over the past ten years.

The weekly number of listings coming to market, however, is now improving, Rightmove said. This week saw the highest for the year so far, and the highest since October last year.

READ MORE: 'Powerful surge’ in UK property sales amid pandemic

The real estate company added that an agent in Saffron Walden, Essex, had 18 viewings in 24 hours this week on a £1.2m ($1.7m) property which is set to go to the best and final offers. It came as the number of London buyers looking to move in and around the region has more than doubled since this time last year.

Rightmove, the UK’s largest property website, advertises around 95% of all homes for sales via estate agents across the country. It currently has more than one million properties for sale and to rent.

“The promise of better weather on the way as we move into Spring, hopefully an easing of restrictions, and kids now back in school have all helped boost listing numbers," Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister, said.

“As we head into half-term agents are reporting a frenzy of activity in some areas, with multiple offers from buyers at asking price and above."

WATCH: Why are house prices rising?

He added: “The lack of stock is still an issue but there are definitely some green shoots starting to emerge with listing numbers improving. There are definite signs that those sellers who were waiting earlier in the year are now making the most of the spring selling season and, with gardens starting to blossom, it’s a particularly good time to showcase these types of features to the growing number of buyers looking for more outdoor space.”

It comes as UK average house prices increased by 7.5% over the year to January 2021, with prices in the North “flying up”, new government data revealed this week.

The North West was the English region which saw the highest annual growth in average house prices (12%), while the West Midlands saw the lowest (4.7%), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £267,000 ($366,135), an increase of 7.5%, in Wales to £179,000 (9.6%), in Scotland to £164,000 (6.9%) and in Northern Ireland to £148,000 (5.3%).

Prices for detached homes rose by 8.6% year-over-year in January, greatly exceeding the 2.6% increase for flats, as outdoor space has become more valuable amid the pandemic.

WATCH: How much money do I need to buy a house?