Rightmoveâ€™s January House Price Index reports that sellers coming to market this month increased their average asking prices by 0.2% (+Â£440) to now stand at Â£229,429. With new seller prices up by 2.4% (+Â£5,369) year-on-year, more sellers coming to market, and a new year jump in Rightmove traffic, early indicators offer reasons to be confident that both prices and transaction numbers will see a modest rise in 2013.
Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove comments: â€œThose coming to market this month have taken a pragmatic pricing approach and kept their asking prices pretty much the same as sellers in December, up by just 0.2%. Sensible pricing will help buyer affordability, one of the factors needed to help warm up the market and encourage a recovery from the credit-crunch freeze in transaction volumes. The thaw will also be helped by growing confidence that prices are more likely to go up than down. There is an increasing body of evidence suggesting genuine â€˜green shootsâ€™ of recovery after a prolonged period of the housing market bumping along the bottom.â€
The jump in the number of sellers coming to the market this month is a clear indication of improving confidence. The weekly run-rate of new property listings is 11,153 this month, up 22% on the 9,108 recorded over the same period a year ago. While still down 37% on five years ago, before the full impact of the credit-crunch, this is the highest level recorded at the beginning of a new year since 2008. Rightmoveâ€™s traffic in the first two weeks of 2013 was also up by 27% compared to the same period a year ago. Rightmove also finds that seven in ten of those looking to sell in 2013 are motivated by discretionary factors rather than forced sale drivers such as the â€˜three Dsâ€™ of death, debt and divorce.
Shipside observes: â€œWhile the number of sellers financially fit enough to come to market is still well down on pre-credit- crunch levels, there appears to be an increased willingness among those that can to â€˜give it a goâ€™. With Rightmove breaking traffic records, the chances of selling are on the up for sellers whose properties match the price, location and finish requirements of the greater numbers who are searching for a property to buy.â€