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Surge in homes coming on the market recorded in run-up to Easter holidays

A pre-Easter bank holiday surge in properties coming on the market has been recorded by a website.

Rightmove said the Thursday immediately before the Easter bank holiday weekend was the biggest day for new home-sellers coming to market so far this year.

Thursday March 28 2024 was also the third biggest day for new property listings since August 2020, with Boxing Day in 2022 and 2023 being the only days with more properties coming to market in one day, Rightmove said.

There were 45% more homes added to Rightmove on Thursday March 28 than on the previous Thursday.

Rightmove’s property expert, Tim Bannister, said: “A huge number of new sellers came to market as we all geared up for the Easter break, all hoping to capture the attention of those buyers using the long weekend to home hunt alongside their Easter egg hunts.

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“It’s still a price-sensitive market, so, while the uptick in activity we’ve seen over the past few months is a positive sign, sellers still need to heed the advice from their agent on pricing competitively to help secure a successful sale.”

Two- and five-year fixed-rate mortgages previously jumped above 6% amid economic turbulence, but the easing back in inflation has boosted hopes of a Bank of England base rate cut.

According to financial information website Moneyfacts, the average two-year fixed homeowner mortgage rate on the market on Thursday was 5.81%, slightly up from an average rate of 5.80% on Wednesday.

The average five-year fix was 5.39%, which was unchanged from Wednesday.

Nationwide Building Society reported this week that the average UK house price fell by 0.2% month on month in March, although it said there are signs that activity is picking up.

Bank of England figures released this week showed that the number of mortgages approved to home-buyers increased in February to the highest level seen since the month that the mini-budget was delivered under former prime minister Liz Truss.

Some 60,383 mortgage approvals for house purchase were recorded, marking the highest figure since 65,349 deals got the go-ahead in September 2022.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of property professionals’ body Propertymark, said: “It’s encouraging to now see people once again finding the confidence and affordability to power their next move.”

Meanwhile, a survey by property firm Savills among 1,200 people on its home-mover client database indicated that 15% have increased their budgets.

The most important attributes when buying were considered to be the size of a home (65%) and the number of rooms (54%).

The proportions of people favouring these attributes have increased compared with two years ago, up from 52% and 45% respectively.

Nearly four-fifths (79%) of home-movers said the prospect of a forthcoming general election will not affect their plans to move, although 8% said they are less committed to moving as a result.

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said: “With mortgage markets steadily improving, the outlook for the housing market has certainly improved and has entered the first stages of recovery.”