Proportion of properties marked sold hits seven-year high, Rightmove claims

Almost half of agency stock has been sold subject to contract so far this year as buyer demand continues to outweigh supply, Rightmove claims.

The portal said this morning that the strength of buyer demand and lack of property coming to market has resulted in over 45% of agents’ property stock being sold subject to contract, the highest proportion recorded by Rightmove over the past seven years.

Average asking prices remained at a “virtual standstill” in July, up by just 0.1% to £316,421.

It compares with the 0.4% monthly drop seen in June and is up 2.8% year-on-year.

The number of sales agreed during June was up by 4.6% year-on-year, while the number of sellers was up 7.6%.

Meanwhile, average stock per agent was flat at 60 in June while the average time to sell went up by one day to 60, which is two days longer than the same time last year.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said: “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 figures come as separate data from Your Move for England and Wales showed prices fell on a monthly basis for the third time in a row to £301,114 during June. Values were down 0.2% since May although up 3.8% annually.

Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said: “Don’t write the market off just yet. We’ve seen three months of falls, but it’s far too early to panic.

“Mortgage rates are still affordable and the slowdown we have seen will already have helped some buyers struggling with affordability.

“We’re still seeing strong growth in the east and in prime London. We’re also seeing a return to the north/south divide in terms of price growth.

“In many ways, it feels like we’ve been here before.”

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