The evidence from Britain’s biggest property portal is that, with the last of the government’s Covid-19 restrictions ending, an increase in the UK’s housing supply will lead to a boom in the UK housing market over the next few weeks.
Rightmove, the UK’s biggest property listings service, recorded its busiest ever January, with nearly 25% more buyers than in the January before the pandemic and 33% more tenants looking than in 2020.
Compared to January 2020 website visits were 44% up. They even beat January 2021 by 3%, when a locked down public had little else on.
Fortunately for buyers, unlike some previous occasions and in some countries right now, where demand outstripped supply thus forcing up prices, there appears to be a steady stream of new properties coming on to the market. Rightmove found that the number of people contacting estate agents to value their property leapt by 50% compared to January 2019 and 2020. The number of listings on the site rose by 10% in early January compared to the same period on 2021.
Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: “The jump in new properties coming to the market over the last two weeks is a positive sign that there will be more choice to meet this demand during 2022.”
Driving the market appears to be a growing realisation that the pandemic is in its final stages. The Omicron variant has been beaten by vaccine boosters and as of yesterday – 24 January – the UK government has removed all Covid-19 restrictions. That includes the legal requirement to stay at one if you have the virus.
March set to be manic
Many British people wait until the spring to sell, believing that this offers the optimum chance of getting the best price.
The data suggest they may be right. Rightmove’s showed that buyer demand rises by an average of 32%, while new listings traditionally rise by around 11%. Hence more people chasing more properties, but not quite as many as the increase in buyers.
This year, gardens will be the most sought-after commodity. In January, the number of people searching for properties with gardens rose by 70% compared to previous Januarys.
If looking for a property in the UK this spring, the largest increase in supply in January 2022 was Bexhill, the seaside town in East Sussex. The average property price here is just over £340,000 and there was an 88% increase in supply of homes from last year.
|Location||Average Asking Price||Increase in new properties for sale vs Jan 2021||Increase in average asking price YoY||
Time to find a buyer (days)
|Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex||£342,265||+88%||+13%||35|
|High Peak, Derbyshire||£278,672||+82%||+6%||39|
|Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands||£389,744||+37%||+7%||43|
|St. Albans, Hertfordshire||£629,000||+36%||+6%||40|
|Bradford, West Yorkshire||£150,975||+26%||+9%||42|
Biggest increases in UK housing supply
Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex
High Peak, Derbyshire
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
St. Albans, Hertfordshire
Bradford, West Yorkshire
Top ten buyer hotspots
Rightmove’s top ten locations for growth in property views in January were:
|Rank||Where||Increase in demand||Average asking price||Asking price change|
|2||Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland||116%||£172,166||+1.3%|
|4||Hope Valley, Derbyshire||106%||£502,302||+9.1%|
|5||Todmorden, West Yorkshire||101%||£214,137||+8.5%|
|6||Cradley Heath, West Midlands||101%||£182,145||+9.8%|
|7||Leicester City Centre||99%||£129,841||+4.4%|