Comment: Forget the COVID crash, this is the fastest moving market on record
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Spring is traditionally a great time of year for the property market, but what about when it's operating within an ever-loosening lockdown?
A year ago at this time the market was in a strange state of limbo, midway through an almost total shutdown due to coronavirus constraints.
A lot was said then about the grave consequences those seven weeks of restrictions would have on the market, with phrases like "sharp downturn" and "housing crash" regularly bandied about.
Yet here we are, and things are looking more buoyant than ever.
According to Rightmove's April house price index, property prices hit a record high of £327,797 nationally following a 2.1 per cent monthly increase (though the East of England saw the smallest monthly price growth in Britain at just 1.1 per cent).
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Properties are also selling at the fastest rate on record, with the average number of days to sell at the lowest level ever and the number of homes sold within a week at the highest.
Rightmove’s Tim Bannister credited "frenzied buyer activity" with pushing the average price of property coming to market to an all-time high.
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Credit is obviously also due to the stamp duty holiday and government support given to 95 per cent mortgages, which have incentivised buyers to move now rather than later.
The only issue seems to be the age old one of supply failing to keep up with demand; with agreed sales up 55 per cent on two years ago, the current stock of available properties is the lowest proportion ever recorded by Rightmove.
Obviously, the down side for buyers is that they're facing mountainous property prices, though the high speeds at which they're moving to secure their sales would suggest this isn't too much of an issue.
Apparently, properties were selling faster in the first two weeks of April than ever previously recorded by Rightmove, taking an average of 45 days to be marked 'sold' by the agent.
Encouraging signs indeed, at least for those with the funds to make a move (in an area where there's sufficient supply).