Mortgage rates continue to edge down, the number of properties for sale is rising, and the UK’s priciest seaside town has been revealed. Read on to find out the latest property market news.
Mortgage Rates Creeping Down
Despite inflation remaining above 10%, and with interest rates expected to rise again in May, mortgage rates have bucked the trend and continued to edge lower.
Best Buy deals are currently available with rates of less than 4% – a stark contrast to the above 6.5% highs that followed then-chancellor Kwesi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget last October.
The average rate on a two-year fixed-rate mortgage is currently 5.32%, however, some lenders have rates starting at 3.99%, and some five-year fixed-rate mortgages have an even more attractive rate of 3.92%.
Housing Market Bouncing Back as Number of Sellers Increases
The number of properties for sale has reached its highest level in more than two years, according to new figures released by Propertymark.
The organisation, representing more than 18,000 estate agents across the UK, reports that the average estate agent had 35 properties for sale per branch in March – the highest figure since January 2021. To put it into context, a year ago, each branch only had 20 properties on their books.
Propertymark also revealed that the number of house viewings increased in March – up by 21% from February’s figure – and the number of new buyers registering increased by more than 30% on average across each branch.
Frenzied Rental Market Continues to be Fuelled by Property Shortage
The limited number of homes to rent continues to be a major nationwide issue with no sign of letting up, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
Fierce competition among tenants for the few properties available is expected to drive rental prices up by an average of 4% over the coming months, adding to the pressure of the rising cost of living.
Rics’ monthly survey shows that growth in demand from renters was at a five-month high in March, and this issue is consistent across the UK, as an increasing number of landlords are deciding to sell their properties when renters move out rather than re-let them.
This follows a study from a leading estate agent, which claims that around 140,000 landlords sold their properties last year to fund their retirement, increasing the shortfall of rental properties on the market.
Their research also revealed that between 2010 and 2022, the number of landlords retiring each year had doubled. With around 924,000 landlords already aged over 65 and young people unlikely to be able to afford buy-to-let properties, the number of rental properties on the market is expected to continue falling for some time.
UK’s Priciest Seaside Town Revealed
Salcombe has overtaken Sandbanks as the UK’s priciest seaside town, according to figures released by Halifax.
The average house price in the Devon town was £1.2m in 2022, around £300,000 more than second-placed Sandbanks, where average prices were £952,692.
Seven of the top 10 on the list were in Devon and Cornwall, while at the other end of the scale, Greenock in Scotland was the cheapest seaside spot, with average prices of £97,608.
Nine of the 10 cheapest towns were north of the border, with the Northumberland town of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea being the only exception.
10 Fastest Places to Sell a Home Revealed
Leading property website Rightmove has revealed the UK’s top 10 places to sell your home the quickest.
On average, properties take 55 days to sell across the UK, but the Scottish town of Falkirk bucks the trend, with properties taking just 22 days to sell in the Stirlingshire town, which lies between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Seven of the top 10 places are in Scotland, the fastest place in the UK to sell a property, at an average of 34 days across the country. Surprisingly, the slowest area to sell a property in the UK is currently London, where it takes 65 days on average.
Hall Green in Birmingham and St. George in Bristol are the joint-fastest places to sell a home in England, with an average of just 26 days.
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