Frenetic housing market leads to asking price bidding war

A record number of homes are selling for the asking price or higher, according to new data.

The latest data from the Land Registry, analysed by property portal Rightmove, shows more than a third of homes achieved their final asking price or above.

At 37% of homes selling at asking price or higher, it’s the highest level ever recorded and represents an increase from 28% in January 2020.

The long-term average for home selling at or above the asking price is 23% when viewed between 2005 and 2021.

Buyers paid an average of 98.1% of the final asking price, the first time this exceeded 98%, during what Rightmove described as a ‘frenetic market’.

In some regions, even more homes sold for asking price or above, including in Yorkshire & the Humber, where 45% of properties sold at this level. In the North West, 41% sold for the asking price or above.

Asking prices reached another record high in mid-June to mid-July, reaching an average of £336,073.

A new study of more than 12 million home sales in England and Wales found that a record percentage of home sales achieved these record high asking prices.

The sold property data from the Land Registry looks at January 2020, before the real frenzy to beat the end of the stamp duty holiday started.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove Director of Property Data, said:

“This unique study quantifies the buyer bidding wars that agents have been reporting since the markets reopened last year, and is further evidence of the unprecedented market that emerged from the various lockdowns with many people deciding they wanted or needed to move as their requirements on space and surroundings changed.

“I would, however, caution against sellers being tempted to ask their agent to put their property on for a price that’s much higher than market value. Although many agents are seeing buyers scrambling to put in offers, if your property is priced too high at the beginning it will stick out like a sore thumb on Rightmove as buyers will compare the asking prices of similar properties in the same area. 

“You need to first get people through the door, even for desirable properties in the hotter areas. My advice would be to listen to your agent’s expert opinion, and be mindful that the market is now showing early signs of cooling.”