Asking prices for homes in Britain have increased marginally in the last month, while demand on the house-hunting website Rightmove has also risen, new figures show.
Asking prices for homes coming onto the market in Britain rose by 0.4% on last month to hit an average of £300,245, the third highest rise in the December-January period since 2017, according to fresh data from the property website.
The first snapshot of 2017 sees demand increase with Rightmove visits up 5% year-on-year since Boxing Day.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “The 0.4% monthly and 3.2% year-on-year price increases are indicators of the continued market momentum from the autumn. Demand for a suitable home is such that visits to the Rightmove website are still up by 5% year-on-year, despite being compared to a period that was boosted by high demand from buy-to-let investors rushing to beat the stamp duty deadline.
“Year-on-year comparisons for transactions in the first quarter of 2017 should also allow for the distortion of last April’s additional stamp duty tax deadline, as transactions were up 40% in the first quarter last year.”
Rightmove said that there was a rise in the supply of smaller properties on the market which may benefit first-time buyers, as fewer buy-to-let investors are currently looking to add to their portfolios, especially when compared to this time last year when there was a rush to complete deals before the 3% stamp duty surcharge was introduced in April for anyone buying an additional property.
Shipside added: “Those planning to buy their first home in 2017 have more choice of properties and less competition from other buyers than their counterparts a year ago. It’s a possible learning point for aspiring first-time buyers that a year ago buy-to-let purchasers acted more quickly and closed deals at a faster rate, appearing not to take a Christmas break.
“Admittedly they had the financial incentive of a deadline to motivate them, but first-time buyers still have time to act and currently have the incentive of stronger negotiating power to try and mitigate the upwards trajectory of property prices.”