The average house price jumped by around £3,000 in March, says Rightmove

The average house price jumped by nearly £3,000 in March, driven by demand for price increases for larger properties, according to a property website.

Across Britain, the typical price for properties offered on the market rose by £2,906, or 0.8%, compared to the previous month, Rightmove said.

She added that this was mainly due to the average jump of 1.2% or £7,947 in asking prices in the largest homes sector, which includes detached four-bedroom homes and homes with five bedrooms or more in general.

Across all property types, the average property price coming to market was £365,357 in March.

The pace of the market has reached an unsustainable level in the past two years

Tim Bannister, Rightmove

Rightmove said the 0.8% price increase was below the average monthly rise of 1.0% seen in March over the past 20 years, reflecting a higher degree of caution about pricing by many new sellers.

Overall, new seller asking prices are typically around £5,800 below the peak reached in October 2022.

Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science at Rightmove, said: “The start of the spring season sees continued stability and confidence in the market as it recovers from the turbulence towards the end of 2022.

“The pace of the market had reached an unsustainable level in the past two years and was on track to slow to a more normal level, although this slowdown to normal was further accelerated by the reaction to the September scaled-up budget.

“While rising mortgage rates and economic headwinds present challenges, many prospective home movers who have been effectively caught up in the frantic bidding wars of the past couple of years will find that a slow market gives them time to plan and secure their next move as we enter the traditionally busy spring buying season.”

Sales of typical one- and two-bedroom first-time buyer properties are seeing the fastest improvement, Rightmove said.

She added that a contributing factor to the larger home sales lagging behind is signs of fewer people making lifestyle changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The share of buyers inquiring about moving more than 50 kilometers from where they live is now 15%, the same level as in 2019 and below its pandemic peak of 18%.

While the London market has not performed as strongly as the rest of the UK during the pandemic market boom, momentum is building

Marc von Gründer, Benham and Reeves

Rightmove also said that signs that inflation may be declining more quickly than previously expected could mean that increases in the Bank of England’s base rate are more moderate, which will have an impact on mortgages.

But, she added, market conditions are changeable, and it remains to be seen how the mortgage market will react in the coming weeks.

Rightmove also quotes Marc von Gründer, director of estate agent Benham & Reeves, who said: “While the London market has not performed as strongly as the rest of the UK during the pandemic market boom, momentum is building and during asking prices it is still a little off.” And the pace for this time of year, we’ve seen a solid and consistent level of buyer demand so far in 2023.

This is due to a reflection of the pandemic-inspired exodus of London buyers looking beyond the capital for larger, more affordable homes.

“This reversal has been driven by a return to normalcy, both socially and within the workplace, with many buyers now keen to return to the convenience of living in London.”

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