Home sales bounce back

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Home sales bounce back

New data reveals that the number of home sales being agreed is now back to its pre-pandemic level for the first time since September, before the mini-budget.

According to property portal Rightmove, sales agreed between sellers and buyers are now just one per cent behind March 2019’s levels.

The recovery is being driven by sales of flats with agreed sales now 10 per cent above 2019 after being 11 per cent down at the start of the year.

This is most pronounced in London, where agreed sales of flats are now 23 per cent higher than March 2019.

The total number of sales agreed have recovered from being 21 per cent behind 2019’s levels in January.

Overall sales agreed have recovered the most in London and are now 11 per cent higher than March 2019.

Across Great Britain, agreed sales are still 18 per cent below the exceptionally busy market of this time last year.

Average mortgage rates have been edging down this year. The average mortgage rate for a five-year fixed, 15 per cent deposit mortgage was 4.63 per cent in March, down from 5.89 per cent in October.

Meanwhile the average size of price reduction from first to last listing price is also back to its pre-pandemic level of six per cent which is the equivalent of £22,000 based on the current national average asking price.

It dropped to five per cent during the pandemic.

Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister said: “The market is remaining surprisingly robust given the economic headwinds that have affected movers over the last six months.

“While the market is by no means at the exceptional level it has been over the last couple of years, it is a positive sign for agents that sales at a national level are being agreed at the same rate as the last more normal market of 2019, though there are regional differences across Great Britain.

“The level and size of reductions has also returned to its pre-pandemic norm, though pricing right the first time can often lead to a quicker sale.

“It’s important for sellers to speak to an agent about their local market so they price realistically and give themselves the best chance of finding a buyer.”