"The rise in new seller asking prices reflects growing activity as the market builds momentum, egged on by the arrival of Easter."
House prices increased by an average of 1.1% in April, the biggest month-on-month rise for over a year and the largest at this time of year since 2016, according to the latest Rightmove data.
However new seller asking prices, the number of properties coming to market and the number of sales agreed all remain lower than this time last year.
Despite these headline falls, Rightmove says market activity "remains resilient with would-be buyers and sellers still having housing needs to satisfy, especially in the family home sector".
Three and four-bedroom properties are outperforming other sectors in the market, with average 0.7% year-on-year price increases for family homes compared to a fall of 0.1% nationally for all properties.
Owners of this type of property are also slightly more willing to come to market, with 0.7% more new sellers than this time a year ago, compared with a 1.2% fall in new- to-the-market sellers nationally. Finally, the sector is more likely to sell, with the number of sales agreed down by just 0.4% compared to this time last year, while the national average drop is 1.6%.
Rightmove concluded that the Brexit extension could provide a boost to spring market activity as short-term uncertainty recedes.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, commented: “The rise in new seller asking prices reflects growing activity as the market builds momentum, egged on by the arrival of Easter. Some sectors of the market and some parts of the country have strong buyer demand and a lack of suitable supply. However, on average, properties are still coming to the market at slightly lower prices than a year ago.It’s one of the most price-sensitive markets that we’ve seen for years, with buyers understandably looking for value or for homes with extra quality and appeal that suit their needs.
“Properties in this middle sector offer the ideal escape route to families looking for more bedrooms, more space and their choice of schools.They are often second-steppers out- growing their first property and it gets harder to postpone a move with growing children.They may have already delayed for a year or two waiting for Brexit clarity, and understandably their patience is wearing thin. While some movers are awaiting the outcome of deal or no deal, many families are keeping on dealing in the housing market.
“No doubt there are still a lot of twists and turns to come, but this extension could give hesitating home movers encouragement that there is now a window of relative certainty in uncertain times. We are not anticipating an activity surge, but maybe a wave of relief that releases some pent-up demand to take advantage of static property prices and cheap fixed-rate mortgages. This demand is clearly there as March was Rightmove’s busiest ever month with over 145 million visits to the site.”