Rush hour! Agents agree huge sales volumes since market reopened

Data released this morning by Rightmove suggests that agents in England have agreed no fewer than 40,000 sales since the market reopened little more than four weeks ago.

The data, from Rightmove, shows that over the past month in total sales are still down some 36 per cent on the comparable period last year; however, a snapshot from early June alone shows that sales are running at just three per cent lower than a year ago.

The portal – in another statement showing how influential it believes itself to be in the sales process  – says 10 of its busiest-ever traffic have been recorded in the past month.

The busiest single day for time spent on the site was Saturday June 6 with people collectively spending over 955,000 hours.

This rush of demand has had an effect on prices too.

The portal says asking prices in England are now some 1.9 per cent more than they were in the beginning of March, the last time there was sufficient data to make a meaningful comparison. This data applies to England only, as the market is still restricted in Scotland and Wales thanks to Coronavirus lockdowns.

New supply in England is also starting to recover, though there are over 175,000 missing sellers that would have come to market between March 24 and May 12 when compared to the same period in 2019.

“Whilst it’s still early days, Rightmove’s statistics covering 95 per cent of the market indicate far more resilience than had been expected, with a strong initial bounce-back in all metrics” reports the portal.

Rightmove has made a specific analysis of over 7,000 newly agreed sales provided by major corporates and property groups, and this study indicates that buyers are agreeing to pay closer to the asking price than they were at the beginning of the year.

In recent weeks, buyers were having offers accepted at 97.7 per cent of the last advertised asking price on Rightmove; although these sales have not yet completed, they are the most up-to-date view of sales agreed prices until completion data is available in a few months’ time.

“This indicates that sales agreed after the market reopened have not only shown price stability but a likelihood of modest upwards price pressure” says the portal.