Comment: No end in sight for beleaguered buyers as prices continue to rise

UK house prices have increased by 2.1 per cent year-on-year according to the Halifax House Price Ind

House prices have increased in all areas of Britain according to October's Rightmove House Price Index. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The stamp duty holiday may be over, but the property market is showing no sign of calming down. 

According to Rightmove's October index, house prices were up last month in every British region and in all market sectors (first-time buyer, second stepper and top of the ladder) – the first time there's been a clean sweep of property inflation since 2007. 

And that's not all: the price of property coming to market across Britain jumped by 1.8 per cent (£5,983) this month, the biggest rise at this time of year since October 2015. Annually, prices rose by 6.5 per cent. 

In the East of England there was a 7.1 per cent increase in property prices year-on-year and a nominal monthly uplift of 0.1 per cent to a new record high of £396,232. 

Likely factors behind this continued robust activity include a shortage in supply and a potential forthcoming interest rate rise.  

Word on the street locally is the same, with the ongoing shortage of supply proving the key cause of disappointment among wannabe movers, particularly those who aren't chain-free. 

Rightmove's Tim Bannister describes 2021 as "the year of the power buyer", with those who are able to proceed quickly and with most certainty "ruling the roost over other buyers who have to sell but have yet to come to market".

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One agent’s musing that 87 per cent of their agreed sales were to buyers who were already in a proceedable position was “fairly typical”, he said.

So what hope do buyers restricted by their own sale have in such a heated market? It would seem, not much. 

While having a mortgage agreed in principle is a vital move, being reliant on shifting another property means many still can't compete with cash buyers. 

For those who aren’t in a rush, breaking the chain with a temporary rental move is advisable, but in our area even that isn't easy, given the rental market is also suffering a supply shortage. 

It's a hideous situation, and one that's endured through the EU referendum, Brexit and Covid, with no sign of an end in sight.

Having had agents refuse to even consider an offer from us when we still had a house to sell, I've experienced this nightmare first-hand. Buyers in property chains, I feel your pain – and wish you the luck that's often needed to get moving.