Price of flats up just 1% since pandemic began, while detached homes jump by 10%

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  • The average asking price of a flat is up by just over £2,000 (+1%) since the start of the pandemic, now £277,302 nationally as many buyers opted for homes with gardens and more space instead
  • The price of a detached home has jumped by almost £46,000 (+10%) over the same time period, hitting over £500,000 on average nationally
  • Sales activity for flats is now ahead of this time last year which could lead to prices rising further:
    • Sales agreed for flats is up by 14% when comparing June & July 2021 with June & July 2020
    • When the market reopened last year the ‘rush for room’ saw strong sales agreed for detached homes in June & July, and although demand is still high, the number of sales agreed in this sector is down by 20% year-on-year due to ongoing stock shortages and low availability

New data from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove reveals a rise of just £2,129 in the average asking price of a flat across Great Britain since February 2020 before the pandemic started.

The average asking price for a flat currently stands at £277,302 – an increase of just 1% since the start of the pandemic when prices were £275,173.

Meanwhile the ‘rush for room’ has seen the average asking price of a detached home jump by 10% over the same time period – now standing at £517,180 compared to £471,406 in February 2020.

There are however signs that flats are starting to make a comeback, with the number of sales agreed for flats up by 14% in June and July this year compared to June and July 2020, and up by 24% on June and July 2019. This is likely driven by lockdown restrictions easing, medium to long term working patterns becoming clearer and much better availability of low deposit mortgages.

The equivalent for the number of sales agreed for detached homes is down by 20% compared to June and July 2020, though still up by 7% on June and July 2019. The lack of available stock and ongoing high demand will continue to underpin prices in this bigger home sector.

The percentage of flats on Rightmove that are available for sale (i.e not marked as under offer or sold) has dropped from 77% back in June and July 2020 when the market had just started to get going again after its temporary closure, to 56% across June and July this year. The percentage of detached homes that are available for sale is down from 73% in June last year to 41% available in June and July 2021.

 

 

Property type

 

 

 

Current average asking price

 

 

% price change versus February 2020

 

 

Sales agreed

June/July 2021 versus

June/July 2020

 

 

Sales agreed

June/July 2021 versus

June/July 2019

Flat £277,302 +1% +14% +24%
Detached home £517,180 +10% -20% +7%

The cheapest area to get on the property ladder is the North East, with average asking prices for flats at £103,098, while the most expensive area outside London is the South East, where average asking prices for flats are £235,073.

The average asking price for a flat in London is £534,054 – a drop of 2% since before the pandemic in February 2020.

 

Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister says: “Navigating a busy market can be daunting for buyers, especially if they’re looking to get onto the property ladder for the first time. However the latest data might suggest an opportunity for some first-time buyers, with average asking prices for flats currently up by 1%, which is significantly less than the price increases we’ve seen for other property types. In the first few months of the housing markets reopening across Great Britain last year flats were temporarily out of favour as people sought bigger homes with more space further out, but we’re now seeing this trend start to shift back again. This means it could be a good time for those first-time buyers who would like to buy a flat to see what’s available before prices start to rise further, as the majority will benefit from being exempt from stamp duty and, although activity is increasing, there’s still less competition among buyers for flats than for houses right now.

“The sharp rise in average asking prices for detached homes probably comes as no surprise to those who have been following the rush for room that emerged when the market reopened, and with available stock still limited and strong demand continuing, we’re unlikely to see prices fall for this property type anytime soon.”

Rightmove

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