Half of homes sell within three weeks in frenzied property market

Properties are selling within three weeks of being listed on the market, as determined families fight over the most desirable homes.

January was the busiest start to the year for the housing market since 2016, according to Zoopla, the property website. 

There are now 50pc more homes selling within three weeks compared to last January, despite buyers scrambling last year to make the most of tax savings under the stamp duty holiday.

Three-bedroom houses outside of London were the fastest-selling property type, Zoopla said, suggesting families are keeping the market buoyant despite the recent interest rate rises and climbing inflation.

House price growth eased slightly to 7.8pc in January, down from 8pc in December. Sarah Coles of fundshop Hargreaves Lansdown said this level of growth was unlikely to last, however.

“It is likely to be a short-lived phenomenon, because buyers are coming under increasing pressure,” Ms Coles said. “Even if they decide they can take the interest rate rises in December and February on the chin, rising prices may be enough to cool their enthusiasm.” 

The average house price across the country is now £244,100, a rise of around £80,000 over the last decade, Zoopla said.

The choice of homes for sale has also started to rise, with new listings running at 5pc above the five-year average.

The number of three- and four-bed detached family homes coming to market in particular had risen over the year, Zoopla said. Three-bedroom houses continued to be the most sought after properties in the country.

Grainne Gilmore of Zoopla, said: “The sheer level of activity in the market in recent years eroded the stock of homes for sale.

“But more homes are now coming to the market, and this will create more choice for the many buyers active in the market.

“However, the imbalance between high demand and supply will take much longer to unwind, and this imbalance will continue to underpin pricing in the coming year.”

Ms Gilmore said she expected the rate of house price growth to ease over the course of the year, as mortgage rate rises and the rising cost of living put the brakes on price rises.

“Overall, we forecast average price growth of 3.5pc by the end of the year,” she added.

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