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A Leap Year: House Prices Continue to Rise as Demand Outstrips Supply

As the first quarter of the year comes to a close, Paul Doyle, Branch Manager with H&H Land & Estates give us an update on the property market across the North West.

“We began this year feeling rather uncertain as to the future of property prices, as the world got back to normality after the pandemic. We were concerned that the desire for rural living might dissipate once people went back to the office and got on with their everyday lives, but we need not have worried. This year has got off to an amazing start with house prices in the North West averaging at £354,000 this month, breaking the £350,000 barrier for the first time.

The Rightmove Report charts an 11.7% increase over the last year alone and this has certainly been corroborated by our results at H&H Land & Estates. We pride ourselves on our valuation skills, but even we have been surprised on occasion by the prices offered.  For example, earlier this year we had a semi detached property in Carlisle that went for 23% over the guide price earlier this year.

The high demand is also reflected in the average days to sell, which is 36, but we are finding that many properties, particularly those at the higher end of the market sell much quicker, with some being snapped up in just a couple of days. The most expensive sector has also seen the biggest average monthly price rise of 3.8%. This is encouraging new sellers to come to market with 12% more new listings in this sector than at this time last year.

This is partly influenced by the trend towards homeworking continuing, with buyers increasingly searching for properties with either home office space, an additional bedroom, an outbuilding to convert, or room in the garden to build a space.

Without a crystal ball it is impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy what will happen in the middle to long term. As we enter this year’s Spring selling season there is the biggest mismatch between supply and demand for this time of year ever measured, with more than twice as many buyers as sellers. The chance of finding a buyer in the first week is the highest ever and twice as likely compared to the same period in 2019.

Therefore if you are thinking of moving, now might be the right time to do so. With inflation rapidly rising and the very uncertain international situation, who knows how long this house price boom will last. Currently the market retains exceptional buoyancy, so we are all keeping our fingers crossed that this will continue. At the moment the signs are that it will, but even the most seasoned estate agent cannot predict “unknown unknowns”.”

If you want to speak with us about your individual circumstances and whether now is the time to sell for you, then you can contact Paul Doyle (Carlisle Branch Manager) on 01228 810799 or click here to find your local branch.