Spring selling season sees house prices reach new record


The average asking price of a home in Great Britain has reached a new record this month, rising to just above £375,000 ( 0.8%).

The spring months are typically the busiest period of the year for the housing market, so we often see prices increase at this time of year, too.

We’ve seen average asking prices edge up every month since the beginning of the year – which reflects the confidence new sellers have that they’ll be able to find a buyer for their homes.

Now that a date has been set for a summer general election on 4th July, we’re likely to see prices and activity hold steady over the next few months. The past four years have presented a number of challenges for people wanting to find their next home: a global pandemic, a lack of housing supply and fast moving prices. For many, 2024 was finally the year to make their next move, and so many home-movers will want to continue with their plans to secure the home they want.

The price growth we’re seeing is being driven by larger, ‘top-of-the-ladder’ homes which have 5 bedrooms or more, as well as 4-bed detached houses, and is similar to the trend we saw play out last month. More people are listing homes for sale in this sector of the market, after some paused their moving plans in previous years. The number of home sales agreed for top-of-the-ladder homes in the first four months of this year has increased by 24% compared to the same period in 2023. For the market as a whole, sales agreed are up by 17%.

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops says that lifestyle changes are still driving the housing market for many people: “In particular, demand for detached homes and prime country properties are attracting the highest competition from buyers, as beauty spots come into their own, with the sun finally out and people aiming to move by the end of the year.”

Our property expert, Tim Bannister, agrees. He says: “The momentum of the Spring selling season has pushed average asking prices to a new record, and the top-of-the-ladder sector is still leading the way. However, it’s important to remember that prices overall are still only 0.6% ahead of this time last year.

The market remains price-sensitive, and with average asking prices reaching new records in most regions, and mortgage rates remaining elevated, affordability for many home-buyers is still stretched.”

You can check the average asking prices in your local area, along with other housing market trends, in our monthly House Price Index.

National average asking price

Month Average asking price Monthly change Annual change
May 2024 £375,131 0.8% 0.6%
April 2024 £372,324 1.1% 1.7%

National average asking price by sector (excluding inner London)

Sector May 2024 April 2024 Monthly change Annual change
First time buyers £228,003 £227,110 0.4% 0.7%
Second steppers £343,268 £342,501 0.2% 0.5%
Top of the ladder £693,791 £682,661 1.6% 1.3%

If you’re thinking of selling your home soon, the guidance from estate agents is to make sure your home is priced realistically when it is first listed for sale. In fact, our analysis shows that it takes over three times as long for a home to find a buyer if it had an asking price reduction (112 days) compared to a home that’s priced right from the outset (32 days).

How long is it taking to move home right now?

The average time it takes to find a buyer is currently 62 days. But the time it takes for a sale to be agreed,  completing the sale and handing over the keys, is much longer. Right now, it’s 154 days, or five months.

So if you’re looking to move in to your next home by Christmas, it’s a good idea to start thinking about putting your home-moving plans into action now.

Tim says: “The extremely lengthy legal completion process of moving home is a frustrating barrier for home-movers. It may seem surreal to be thinking about Christmas in May, but we know that many people that are getting ready to sell picture themselves celebrating the festive season in their new home, and to achieve that, now is the time to be coming to market.”

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market soon and aren’t sure where to start, you can get a quick estimate of your home’s value using our instant valuation tool, or take a look at our 12-step guide to selling a home. Plus, our guide to buying takes you everything you might want to consider when you’re looking for your next home.

The header image for this article was provided courtesy of Daniel Brewer Estate Agents, Essex.

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