House Price Index - March 2022

The spring housing market is experiencing unprecedented growth, with property prices reaching another record high for the second consecutive month, now averaging £354,564 nationwide.

This month's 1.7% increase (+£5,760) in property prices is the largest seen at this time of year since March 2004.

Furthermore, the annual rate of increase stands at an impressive 10.4%, the highest recorded by Rightmove since June 2014. The surge in prices is a result of an extraordinary imbalance between buyer demand and the limited number of properties available for sale, making this the strongest spring sellers' market in several metrics.

The market is currently dominated by more than twice as many buyers as sellers, the largest mismatch between supply and demand ever measured at this time of year. This is evident from the fact that over one-fifth (22%) of deals on Rightmove are being agreed within the first week of listing, double the figure for the same period in 2019. Almost half (47%) of properties are having a sale agreed within the first two weeks of marketing, reflecting high demand and the likelihood of finding a buyer quickly. Although these unprecedented numbers are contributing to new price records, it also indicates that some properties may remain on the market after this initial surge and could benefit from price reductions.

The "top of the ladder" sector, mainly comprising of properties with four bedrooms or more, has experienced the largest monthly price rise of 3.8% (+£23,619) due to high demand and limited supply. However, in the more mass-market "second-stepper" sector, over half (50.3%) of properties are finding buyers within the first two weeks of listing.

To Summarise:

  • The average price of property coming to market has surpassed the £350,000 mark, reaching a new record of £354,564.

  • The monthly price rise of 1.7% is the highest seen at this time of year since March 2004, leading to an annual rate of increase of 10.4%.

  • The four-bedroom plus properties sector experienced the most significant monthly price surge of 3.8% (+£23,619), with a 12% increase in new listings compared to the previous year.

  • The current market presents the best ever spring sellers' market due to record price levels and a substantial mismatch between supply and demand, with more buyers than sellers.

    • The likelihood of finding a buyer within the first week is the highest ever and twice as likely compared to 2019.

  • The impact of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine remains uncertain for the market, with initial lower buyer demand that has now stabilised.

  • A more evenly balanced market is expected in the second half of the year as economic headwinds influence demand and supply, although demand is still projected to outstrip supply.