U.K. House Prices Increase Amid Lockdown Easing, Rightmove Says
U.K. house prices increased as lockdown measures that froze the market were relaxed, Rightmove Plc said.
Asking prices in June were 1.9% higher compared to March, before the market was put on hold, the property website operator said Monday, bringing average values to 337,884 pounds ($424,000). Restrictions put in place to slow the outbreak of the coronavirus were eased in May, with realtors able to show homes again.
Buyers agreed to pay about 98% of the asking price, and home movers delayed by stay-at-home measures pushed website traffic to its ten busiest days ever in May and June, Rightmove said. People are looking for more space and a larger garden, the report said.
“Buyers may now be trying to exchange quickly, as there are signs of high pent-up demand and upwards price pressure, rather than downwards,” said director Miles Shipside. “There are no signs of panic selling or even a price dip.”
Questions over the strength of the economic recovery and Britons’ job security remain. Official data published Friday showed output plunging a record 20% in April.
While new housing supply is starting to recover, there were over 175,000 fewer sellers between the end of March and the middle of May compared to last year, Rightmove said.