Better than expected market surprises many as buyers return

As we head into the traditional busiest home hunting season Rightmove’s latest index shows the smallest house price increase from January to February on record, with prices remaining flat rather than falling as some expected.

The average asking price of a home in Great Britain is now £362,452, rising by just £14. The combination of sellers being more realistic on price and an improving picture on the number of sales being agreed suggests a softer landing for the market than many expected.

This month’s key metrics suggest that many buyers are seeing reasons to get on with their moves and have the confidence to return to a market. The number of potential buyers contacting estate agents is up by 11% in February compared with the same period in 2019 and mortgage rates have edged downwards after the turbulent months immediately following the mini budget. This slower-paced, greater-choice market appears to be suiting the mass of buyers who need to organise a mortgage and who often lost out to cash buyers in the frenzied best bid scenarios of recent years.

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