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House prices surge: one in four homes sold across the UK in March were on the market for less than seven days

Meghann Murdock
·2 min read
 (Shutterstock / ZGPhotography)
(Shutterstock / ZGPhotography)

Almost one in four UK homes that found a buyer in March had been on the market for less than a week, the highest rate ever recorded by Rightmove, in signs that confidence is high as buyers look to capitalise on stamp duty savings.

In London, among properties that had a sale agreed last month, 13 per cent had been for sale for less than seven days.

The average prices of homes for sale in the capital now stands at £635,306, after a monthly increase of 1.7 per cent, according to the online property portal, while UK house prices are £327,797 on average after a jump of 2.1 per cent — or £6,733 — in a month.

Three areas to have seen the largest annual growth in the capital are north-west London’s leafy East Finchley, where average house prices have increased by 11.9 per cent to over £1 million; Purley in south London, where prices are now up 9 per cent to £597,618 on average; and Richmond in south-west London where asking prices are over £1.13 million after an increase of 8.7 per cent.

Table: 10 London hotspots

Area

Average house price

Annual price change

East Finchley

£1,065,454

11.9%

Purley

£597,618

9.1%

Richmond

£1,128,408

8.7%

Chelsea

£2,052,765

8.3%

West Wickham

£622,325

7.5%

Mitcham

£400,329

7.1%

Ruislip

£571,554

6.6%

West Norwood

£559,677

6.5%

Southall

£438,581

6.2%

Chislehurst

£738,156

5.8%

Source: Rightmove, April 2021

Tim Bannister of Rightmove says the spring surge in prices and activity can be attributed to a range of factors including buyers’ new space requirements, “stamp duty holiday extensions in England and Wales, government support for 95 per cent mortgages and a shortage of suitable property to buy.”

Property types seeing the most competition in the capital are two- and three-bedroom semi-detached houses, while the property type to have had most sales actually agreed last month were two- and one-bedroom apartments.

Bannister says: “Some of the froth is likely to come off this spring surge later in the year as the challenging economic conditions come to the fore, some of the Government support to individuals and businesses unwinds, and the stamp duty holidays finally end in England and Wales.”

“Many sellers are currently holding fire on putting their houses on the market until they have had their second Covid vaccination,” says Richard Freshwater of Cheffins.

“Once the vaccine roll-out gets into its later stages I would expect to see a good number of properties hit the market as people look to get on with selling.”

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