April market snapshot

A frenzy of activity has driven UK property prices to a record high this month.

Rightmove said the UK average asking price jumped by 2.1% in April to a new all-time high of £327,797, an increase of £6,733 from March.


Growing optimism due to the Coronavirus vaccination roll-out, the return of low-deposit mortgages, and the stamp duty holiday extension in England and Wales are all factors helping to drive the momentum for home-hunters to seek a fresh start in fresh surroundings.

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, commented: “The imbalance between supply and demand, which is creating a very tight market for family homes, will start to ease in the near term as homeowners become increasingly comfortable opening their homes to viewings, in turn building supply of new stock. 

Rightmove property expert Tim Bannister says: “The stars have aligned for this spring price surge, with buyers’ new space requirements being part of the constellation alongside cheap mortgages, stamp duty holiday extensions in England and Wales, government support for 95% mortgages, and a shortage of suitable property to buy.”

Ocean offices across the whole of the city remain incredibly busy, as previously reported. As market leaders, we are fortunate to be busiest in our 38-year history, providing sellers and buyers the best possible home move experience at this frantic time. 

UK Market View

The number of UK residential sales agreed is up by 55% on the same period two years ago, which means the proportion of available property is at its lowest ever recorded by Rightmove. The average number of days to sell a property has also dropped to its lowest-ever level, at just 45 days, reflecting the scramble to secure a deal. This has inevitably had a knock on effect on average prices.

What changed in April?

The government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme was launched on 19th April and is open to new 95% mortgages until 31 December 2022. It will allow buyers to acquire properties valued up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit, but unlike the Help to Buy scheme, it will not be restricted to first-time buyers or specific property types, with existing homeowners able to reap the benefits. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has described the scheme as “a policy that gives people who can’t afford a big deposit the chance to buy their own home”. Many of the UK’s largest lenders will soon start offering mortgages within the scheme, including Barclays, HSBC, Santander, NatWest and Lloyds.

What about Bristol?

Well according to Zoopla, Bristol is one of the top five busiest sales markets in the UK. Demand is likely to remain strong as homeowners continue to search for more space, especially as some office-based businesses are now confirming how their working practices will change in the longer term. With appetite strong, homeowners thinking of selling should check our Instant Valuation Tool for a house price estimate and see if it’s time to sell.

As the country opens up and vaccinations continue to increase, we hope many of you who have been shielding will be able to get back to some sort of normality. We look forward to welcoming those of you who have been, in a safe way, back into our branches.

To discuss your local property market, get advice on selling and buying, or for more information on your local area in Bristol, contact your nearest Ocean, we'll be happy to discuss...


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