Two in five home buyers paid over the asking price last month… but agents say housing market heading for a ‘rebalancing’
- Some 40% of homes sold above asking price in June; the highest on record
- There are currently 19 buyers for every available property on the market
- House prices have risen by more than £20k in last year amid ‘housing boom’
- This could come to an end after stamp duty holiday tapered down last month
Two in five properties sold for more than the asking price last month as buyers hurried to meet the stamp duty deadline – but estate agents have said the hot housing market is due a ‘rebalancing’.
Some 40 per cent of buyers paid over the asking price for their homes in June, which was the highest figure on record.
The all-time record was also beaten for the previous two months, according to the figures from estate agent membership body, NAEA Propertymark.
Over and above: Buyers have been forced to pay more than the asking price to secure their new homes in the competitive housing market during the pandemic
In May for example, 33 per cent of buyers paid more than the asking price to secure their property.
Typically buyers offer slightly under the asking price, but high demand for homes in the past year has led to intense competition among rival bidders.
House prices have risen by 10 per cent or more than £20,000 in the past year, according to some estimates.
The desire to move to a bigger house or a more rural location has been credited with creating a housing boom during the pandemic.
This has been compounded by the Government’s stamp duty holiday, which from July 2020 until the end of June 2021 offered buyers a tax saving of up to £15,000 on their new home.
According to NAEA, each of its member estate agent branches had 23 properties on its books in June, down from 25 in May and the lowest figure ever recorded.
This means there was an average of 19 buyers for every available property on the market.
The average number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch stood at 426 in June.
This was the highest figure on record for the month of June in six years, since June 2015 when the figure stood at 439.
However, there are signs that the housing market may be starting to cool off.
Until the end of September, buyers can still save £2,500 using the stamp duty holiday – but house prices may be falling slightly now that the higher level of saving has been taken away.
According to Halifax, for example, the typical house price fell by 0.5 per cent in June.
This may have been because buyers risked missing the deadline and adjusted their offers accordingly – or because fewer new ones entered the market, meaning less competition.
Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor at Propertymark said: ‘It is astonishing to see demand for housing breaking records yet again this month, with more and more homes selling for over the asking price this year as consumers hurried to beat the first tapered stamp duty deadline.
‘With 19 buyers per available property, we are very firmly still in a strong sellers’ market; properties are being snapped up swiftly and at record high prices.
‘We do anticipate a rebalancing of the market over the coming months however, which is much needed.’