The average price tag on a home in Great Britain has topped £350,000 for the first time, according to Rightmove.
Typical asking prices hit £354,564 in March, up 1.7% or £5,760 compared with February, the property website said. It was the biggest monthly rise for this time of year in 18 years, and pushed the annual rate of growth in asking prices to 10.4%.
Annual growth was above 10% for all regions and countries except London and Scotland.
Rightmove said the jump in asking price was partly driven by a huge mismatch between supply and demand, with more than twice as many buyers as sellers. For those putting their home on the market, the chance of finding a buyer in the first week is higher than it has ever been for this time of year, and twice as likely compared with the same period in 2019.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “Many of those who are selling in this record-breaking market obviously also face the prospect of buying again in the same market, and being in fierce competition against other buyers.
“Having a buyer for your own property, subject to contract, puts those who are buying again in a powerful position compared to buyers who have yet to sell, and agents report that these ‘power buyers’ are more likely to get the property that they want and negotiate the best deal on price.”
The Rightmove data is the latest evidence to suggest that two years on from the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the housing market continues to defy economic conditions and the strong market that was boosted by the stamp duty holiday has yet to fade.
A demand for larger homes, partly as some buyers seek more space to work from home, helped to drive a 3.4% increase in asking prices for homes with four bedrooms or more. The trend also encouraged new sellers to come to market, with 12% more new listings in this sector than at this time last year, according to the property website.
Kate Eales, head of regional agency at Strutt & Parker, said: “The trend of a significant number of people planning to work from home for three days a week or more in the longer term has created new hotspots across the country for part-time commuters including Shropshire, North Cotswolds and Suffolk.”