UK house prices hit record high as buyers seek extra room


Following the UK lockdown, house buyers have been seeking more spacious properties, driving the price of three and four bedroom homes to a record high.

As reported by the Times, buyers seeking extra space as coronavirus restrictions force people to spend more time at home have propelled the average asking price for “second stepper” homes to £291,618 this month, up 0.4 per cent from last month.

UK house pricesAdvantage recently wrote that “exceptional” levels of demand were driving house price growth. And with new restrictions likely to lead to many spending longer periods indoors this autumn and winter, the desire for more living space is one of the factors driving the housing market.

Rightmove said that so far this month, three and four-bedroom homes had outperformed the overall housing market in terms of a rise in asking price. The national average asking price in September was £319,996 — up 0.2 per cent on the previous month but £269 lower than the record £320,265 reached in July.

The number of sales agreed for three and four-bedroom homes in August was 55 per cent higher than during the same month last year.

Working from home creates added urgency for those seeking to upsize

Timothy Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said:

“Needing more space has always been the most popular reason for moving house. But now there’s a new urgency for extra space to be able to work from home, which means that there are different sets of buyers competing for the same type of property.

“At the start of the year a fourth bedroom was very much a luxury for buyers trading up but it’s now emerging as a must-have for those who are able to take that step.” Mr Bannister said that buyer demand was at an “all-time high”. Those looking for their next home are likely to find that only offers close to the asking price will be considered, he said.

As reported by Homes & Property, Rightmove estimates that there are now almost 40 per cent more homes going through the buying process than during the same period last year, and warns of “congestion of sales in progress”, leading to delays with mortgages and solicitors.

Advantage’s view:

Although there are a number of factors driving growing demand within the UK housing market, finding a suitable mortgage could pose a challenge for some, with most lenders ditching 10% deposit deals and imposing stricter criteria for potential borrowers. Also, as highlighted by Rightmove, even for those who are approved for a mortgage, the process may be slower as lenders work hard to deal with the unusually high level of demand.

Related read: Advantage looks at how working from home has helped first-time buyers save for a deposit.

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