Spring is traditionally the busiest season of the year for the property market. It’s when we usually see the highest number of homes listed for sale, as well as more people looking to move than during the rest of the year.
And so, we often see average asking prices rise around now too. This is because sellers putting their homes on the market are doing so when there’s more competition from buyers. This month, the average house price in Great Britain edged up 0.2%, to £366,247. But this is still below the average rise we normally see at this time of year.
This increase reflects what’s happening with average asking prices on a national scale, so there will be variations in how they’ve changed in different locations across Great Britain.
|Month||Average asking price||Monthly change||Annual change|
|Sector||April 2023||Monthly change||Annual change|
|First time buyers||£224,963||0.2%||2.0%|
|Top of the ladder||£666,566||1.2%||1.7%|
You can check the average house price in your region this month, by taking a look at our House Price Index.
We’ve seen a smaller average monthly price rise than we normally see at this time of year. This indicates that sellers putting their homes on the market are acting on their agents’ guidance to price their home realistically in order to find a buyer.
Our property expert, Tim Bannister, says: “Estate agents are reporting that while sellers in recent years might have seen multiple bids on their home, many understand the need to tempt Spring buyers with a competitive price in the current housing market. The unexpectedly stable conditions we’re seeing now may attract more sellers who had been considering a move in the last few years, but had been put off by the market’s frenetic pace.”
We’re in a more settled property market than the extremely busy pandemic years, but people who are keen to find a new home are pressing on with their moves. This month we’ve seen the number of homes marked ‘sales agreed’ recover after their slump following September’s mini-Budget. And demand from home-buyers is up 8% on the same period in 2019.
“Those who have now decided to make a move should not wait around too long to make an enquiry if they see the right home for sale, as not only is the number of sales agreed is now back to pre-pandemic levels, but homes are also on average selling twelve days more quickly than at this time in 2019,” says Tim.
What does this mean for first-time buyers looking to get a mortgage?
One of the reasons for the rise in the number of sales agreed is an increase in demand for first-time-buyer homes (properties with two bedrooms or fewer). Demand is up 11% on the level we saw in 2019, while the number of sales agreed is up 4%.
We’re seeing high competition for rental homes and record high rents right now, which may be making home ownership an even more appealing prospect for those who’re in a position to buy.
And while first-time-buyer homes have reached a record average price of £224,963 this month, rising by £510 in a month, we’ve seen mortgage rates edge down over recent weeks. More competitive rates from mortgage lenders may mean that those who are able to raise a deposit and secure a mortgage offer are looking towards owning their first home.
The average mortgage rate for a 5-year-fixed deal with a 15% deposit is 4.46%, while the lowest available rate for this type of mortgage is 4.19%. You can check the current average mortgage rates here, which we update weekly.
“More competition amongst mortgage lenders in the smaller deposit, higher loan-to-value ranges is positive news for those would-be first-time buyers who have saved up their deposit and can still afford to move. However, it remains a challenging environment to get onto the ladder, with new record average asking prices and higher borrowing costs to budget for than a year ago,”, says Tim.
What are the local experts saying?
If you’re thinking of putting your property on the market, a local agent with an expert knowledge of your area is best placed to help with valuing your home.
Karl Tatler, Managing Director at Karl Tatler Estate Agents on The Wirral, says:
“Our big focus is helping our clients to understand the market conditions, which are changing so quickly. Available stock has now ‘normalised’, providing an increased choice of properties for buyers, and our new and existing clients are having to respond by listing their homes at more competitive prices to stand out from the crowd.”
You can find agents in your area, and arrange a free valuation.
And if you’re looking to buy a home, you can get mortgage-ready by applying for a Mortgage in Principle. You’re not committing to anything by applying, and your credit rating won’t be affected.