In February we saw further house price rises across the country with the average sale agreed at Hatched standing at just over £225,000. This equates to a monthly increase of 6% compared to January.
It’ll be interesting to see what the ‘big boys’’ indexes say. My prediction is that they will report a monthly 2%-3% increase. But that’s because they base their figures that are sometimes 2 months after the sale has been agreed – read this article to see why you should largely ignore House Price Indexes from the 'big boys'.
At Hatched, we're at the thick-end of estate agency and the monthly rise we have seen in February of 6% probably won’t be reported by the big indexes for another couple of months.
Other useful indicators of the market are things like percentage of asking price achieved, and first time buyers registering. So, let’s have a look at them:
We’ve also seen the percentage of asking price achieved rise to over 99% for the first time in our history, which shows that there is a huge amount of competition in the market place.
The closer sale prices are to the asking price shows us that buyers are getting squeezed up by sellers. And the reasons they are getting squeezed are because the sellers are confident due to all of the interest they are getting - and they should be confident - viewings are up by a massive 24% in February compared to January.
And why do we have all this competition? A lack of stock…
Instructions, or new listings, are not up by 24%. They are up, but only by around 5% or 10%. That's not nearly enough to satisfy the demand that is out there.
And looking at first time buyers registrations as well, we have seen a record 489 first time buyers register in the month of February – an increase of 93% compared to February 2013.
Predictions for March include an even bigger rise in first time buyers compared to last year, a rise in sale agreed prices of at least 5% compared to February and instructions being down again compared to last year.
Quite simply, we need more people to put their houses on the market. And you can read why you should do that first, rather than finding somewhere first, here
Whatever happens though, it’ll be a busy one!